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Classroom Investigation: Cadastral Surveying

18 Jul 2023 11:34 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

BLM is excited to announce the newly released Cadastral Surveying Classroom Investigation - Secondary School Teaching Guide

Classroom Investigations Teaching materials address topics related to the programs and mission of the BLM, and are targeted to learners in secondary schools.

An excerpt from the introduction: Students will apply cadastral surveying knowledge, history, and techniques to their school environment. From its three activities, students will:

1. Describe how and why Congress developed the Public Land Survey System, define land tenure and public domain in the United States, and discuss how public domain, land tenure, and the Public Land Survey System shaped the United States.
2. Understand the basic design of the Public Land Survey System, interpret aliquot descriptions of land, and map a location in their classroom using an aliquot description.
3. Review surveying methods and tools, calculate acreages and angles using survey computations, and map an area at their school using survey computations.

Through this teaching guide, students will learn how the development of the Public Land Survey System was vital to the establishment of land ownership and government revenue in the early days of the United States. They will also learn how the survey system promoted European-American settlement in newly acquired areas of the country. The lessons will introduce students to public domain, the Public Land Survey System, and surveying methods and tools. Students will use surveying techniques to map their classrooms and to practice being a surveyor for a day. They will also complete calculations using measurements from the survey system.

Although designed for middle school students, the unit can be adapted for high school and upper elementary levels. Students engage in diverse cognitive skills such as speaking, drawing, interpreting graphics, problem solving, and teaching roles as they progress through the unit.

The unit supports innovative strategies in education, such as:
● Social and emotional learning: Students participate in small groups in which they work together, listen and speak to one another, and collaborate.
● Interdisciplinary instruction: As they progress through the unit, students define and discuss the historical background of the Public Land Survey System, interpret aliquot descriptions of land, and map an area at their school using survey computations.

The curriculum is flexible. It can be adapted so each activity in the unit takes one 45-minute class period, for a total of three class periods. The activities work best as a collective unit that progresses from Public Land Survey System development, to describing surveyed lands, to being a surveyor for a day.

Click for the guide:

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