Florida’s Giant Travelling Map includes ‘The Smallest Tadpoles War’

Debbie Snapp
ECB Publishing, Inc.

National Geographic Society has provided all 50 states and the District of Columbia a 16-by-20-foot Giant Travelling Map of their state. These classroom-size maps were created as a gift to the nation using the expertise of the National Geographic Cartographic Division and research on elementary spatial thinking. The gift is an expression of the commitment that the National Geographic Society has to educating students about the world and empowering them to make a difference.
Maps are housed and operated by each National Geographic State Alliance, and the Alliance Network is engaged in a year-long challenge to have at least 50,000 feet on maps. The students choose their reading.
Accompanying Florida's Giant Travelling Map on its journey through the state is 'The Orange Crate.' This tool kit, curated by the Florida Geographic Alliance, provides a wide variety of books, toys, and activities to aid the schools and the teachers, and suitable for all grade levels. Activities in The Orange Crate draw on the classic literature, history, and landscape of the Sunshine state, offering an experience unique to young Florida explorers.
One of the books included in The Crate is 'The Smallest Tadpoles War in the Land of Mysterious Waters,' a true family story written by local author Diane Swearingen. The book is also part of the Florida Special Collection at the State Library of Florida, and the Florida History Collection at the University of Florida Smathers Library, Florida State Strozier Library, and Gulf Coast State College.
The book chronicles life in North Florida during the antebellum and Civil War times: “In early 1861, Florida was a rural frontier state that had joined the Union just fifteen years before. Its population of 140,000 was by far the smallest of any of the states that formed the Confederacy. Nearly 63,000 of the population were African Americans, most of whom were slaves working in an agricultural-based economy. The majority of the white population was relatively poor and rural. In the 1860's a Northern newspaper referred to Florida as, 'the smallest tadpole in the dirty pool of succession.'”
Swearingen is willing to donate copies of her book to instructors/teachers at Jefferson County schools, including the library and home schoolers. Contact her at 850-893-5527 or author@smallesttadpole. com for more details.