Getting Started with Maps in the Classroom

If you were to ask your students, “What is a map?” what do you think they would say?

Oshkosh, Wis. : From H.L. Cottrill's Block

Oshkosh, Wis.

Years ago, if someone had asked me that question I would have replied that a map is something that shows you how to get from here to there. Prior to coming to the Library, little did I know that maps do so much more:  they tell fascinating stories about the people who made them, how they lived, what was important to them, what they knew and what they didn’t know. Maps also make claims, persuade, advertise and influence.

Helping your students discover some of these possibilities for themselves is a great way to begin using historic maps in the classroom.  Set the scene by having students brainstorm a list entitled “What do maps tell us?” and post it on the wall. Follow up with one or more of the following map analysis activities. After each activity, ask the question again and add to the list.

Zoom Into Maps

Zoom Into Maps

Additional Resources:

Ask your students what maps can tell us.  It will be fascinating to hear what today’s youth – with digital mapping tools at their fingertips every day – have to say.  Please include your grade level.

3 Comments

  1. mossayyeb samanian
    February 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    when you attached the map in the class,s wall.it will show many information for any students for example:
    there are many countries in the world
    every countries are nationalities ,religions,ancient,flag..
    map to make many question in concept,s students and activities for finding suitable answer for your question
    we can to use many map ,geogeraphy map,body map etc.

  2. Samantha
    March 16, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Maps are much more than orientation tools, they are documents with great significance. they give us idea bout people, events, places, stories. They hide interesting facts inside. All we have to do is to learn how to read them.

  3. maxima
    June 22, 2012 at 11:17 am

    GREAT WORK . TALKING ABOUT MAPS AND ALL THE DATA THEY CARRY WITH IN IS VERY INTERESTING. HERE , I CAN ADD A GREAT HUG FOR ANNE SABAGE FATHER. IT WAS DIA DEL PADRE EN PANAMA EL DOMINGO PASADO.
    DIOS Y DIOSA LOS BENDIGAN.

    CON AMOR,

    MAXIMA

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