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Mapping Theme Page

This "Theme Page" has links to two types of resources related to the study of Mapping. Students and teachers will find curricular resources (information, content...) to help them learn about this topic. In addition, there are also links to instructional materials (lesson plans) which will help teachers provide instruction in this theme. Please read our disclaimer.

The related Theme Page on Maps provides Web sites from which students and teachers can create or download finished maps of various types.

AskERIC Lesson Plans - Geography
There are at least a half dozen lesson plans on mapping interspersed within Eric's larger collection of geography lesson plans. Most are intended for elementary students but some can also extend into high school.

Chapter Four: Maps and Mapping
This link is to the fourth chapter of a book titled "Eyes on the Sky, Feet on the Ground" - a collection of online, fully illustrated and detailed astronomy activities which teachers can use for fun explorations. While their treatment of maps does end with a section on celestial mapping, the first three topics (reading maps, making maps, and co-ordinate systems) have descriptions of eleven learning activities that would be appropriate to all students.

Core Knowledge Lesson Plans

Introduction to Geography: Learning the Compass
Intended for grade 5 students, this tutorial covers compass directions - a concept central to using maps in geographic instruction and real-life applications.

Introduction to Maps
Here's a five lesson teaching unit for elementary students. Lessons cover an introduction to maps, construction of maps, integration of map skills with literature, introduction to aerial maps, and orientation to local community through an aerial map.

Latitude: The Art and Science of Fifteenth-Century Navigation
Articles describing how the knowledge of latitude influenced early explorations, including: Ships, Beacons, Maps, Compass, Science of Sailing, Coastal Navigation, Traditional Astronomy, Math in Maps, Calendars, and more...

Map Directions
In this 1-2 day lesson plan, grade 2 students will learn about directions and will understand their importance in knowing how to read a map.

Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Map: Assessing the Historical Value of Maps in the Social Studies Classroom
In this lesson plan, grade 6-12 students "evaluate the different types of historical and geographical information that one can gather through close study of maps throughout the course of time. Students analyze various maps spanning the 16th through the 19th centuries, as well as create maps of their own." They use a New York Times article as a starting point for their explorations.

Map Skills
Here's a teaching unit consisting of five lesson plans for grade 6 students. Through the course of the unit, students will learn how to use latitude and longitude to find locations on a map, consider what elements are necessary in a map, identify various kinds of maps and their use, discuss the distortions found in maps, and compare various types of maps.

Mathematics of Cartography
In addition to the commonly found basics on mapping, this site also has a history of mapmaking, a look at maps from the mathematical perspective, mathematical problems that can be solved with web-based mapping technology, and information on map-related careers.

Origins of the Compass Rose Symbology
A brief, but informative article on the "compass rose".

Social Studies Lesson Plans
There are a number of mapping lesson plans within this large SS collection from Columbia Education Center. Unfortunately, they are not immediately apparent and you will have to search through their lists of titles for them. Most are in their K-5 and 6-8 groupings. Look especially within the "geography" sections.

[The] Stowaway Adventure
Students use realtime data from the Internet to analyze location, direction, speed and travel plans of a ship at sea to solve the mystery of where they are. In the process, they will gain an understanding of latitude, longitude, speed, and direction of travel, and they'll learn to organize, analyse, and plot data.

US Geographical Survey: Educational Resources for Cartography, Geography, and Related Disciplines
This section of the US Geographical Survey web site has a large number of resources for students and teachers on mapping. From this main menu, you'll find links to satellite images, information about remote sensing, atlases, reference materials, downloadable educational publications, posters, and more. Direct links to some specific learning materials are provided below but a trip to their main menu is also recommended.

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Note: The sites listed above will serve as a source of curricular content in Mapping. For other resources in Social Studies (e.g., curricular content, lesson plans, and theme pages), click the "previous screen" button below. Or, click here if you wish to return directly to the CLN menu which will give you access to educational resources in all of our subjects.

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