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Maps: Resources Unit. By: Tiffany Suman & Ellen Winter ED 417 Spring 2007. Introduction. A. General Theme

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maps resources unit

Maps: Resources Unit


Tiffany Suman & Ellen Winter

ED 417

Spring 2007

  • A. General Theme

Throughout this resource unit, students will be studying the many different concepts of maps. The purpose of this unit is to help students gain an understanding of all the different things that can be found on a map and how to read a map. Obtaining mapping skills is important for young children to have. Students may then continue to build on their knowledge of the uses and understanding of the importance of maps and the geography around them in everyday life.

  • Who: The teacher will lead the students through a variety of activities to aid in the understanding of maps.
  • What: Five different activities will be done upon completion of the mapping unit.
  • Where: All activities will take place in the classroom or on school property.
  • When: These activities will be completed during the social studies teaching period. Some activities can be implemented into mathematics as well.
  • How Long: This unit will take place for one week to allow students ample time to complete and comprehend all activities.
  • The students will be learning about the different parts of maps such as, the map key, scale, directions, longitude, and latitude.
  • The students will be able to use what they have learned and apply it to reading maps in order to get to a location.









  • The students will know different types of maps and what is found on a map.
  • The students will identify the different parts of a map.
  • The students will learn how to read a map.
  • The students will learn vocabulary associated with maps.
  • The students will create their own map to tell someone how to get to their home.
  • The students will read My Map Book by Sara Fanelli to understand how maps can be used.
  • The students will complete one page in the Geography workbook each day to maintain mapping skills.
  • The student will learn how to use a coordinate system in order to teach the student longitude and latitude.
  • The students will interact with their peers in learning the map process building cooperation skills.
  • The student will use hands on activities to meet the visual needs of students.
activity day 1
Activity Day 1
  • After the teacher has introduced the topic of maps to the students, the students will use computers to aid in their learning about symbols found on a map.
  • Students will use ED Helper Community Maps to answer the online questions about the map.
activity day 2
Activity Day 2
  • Students will be given a grid and have to place coordinates with labels of places on the map. Students will then switch papers and another student will have to find each coordinate and the location given to each place.
activity day 3
Activity Day 3
  • Students will receive a colorless map which they will have to design and color code a legend that makes sense.
activity day 4
Activity Day 4
  • The teacher will have stations set up around the classroom with a different type of map at each location. Students will identify characteristics of each map at each location using a data chart.
activity day 5
Activity Day 5
  • Students will create a map directing the teacher from school to the student’s home.
  • This last activity will encompass all aspects of mapping skills and will be used as authentic assessment to determine if students understood the lesson.
  • The student’s map must consist of:
    • Legend
    • Street names
    • At least two landmarks
    • Student’s address
    • Compass
evaluation multiple choice
Evaluation Multiple Choice

Multiple Choice

1. What would you use to measure the distance between to location on a map?

A. Key C. Longitude

B. Scale D. Compass

2. A map key is used for?

A. Decoding symbols C. Finding a direction

B. Measuring a location D.

3. Latitude runs from which directions?

A. North to South C. East to West

B. North to East D. South to West

4. I would use a compass to find?

A.Symbols C. Directions

B. Landforms on a map D. Map Key

5. Longitude runs from which directions?

A. North to South C. East to West

B. North to East D. South to West

evaluation objective questions
Evaluation Objective Questions

6. Look at the legend from the provided map. What symbol represents the train crossing?

7. What view of a map would you be looking at if you were flying in an airplane?

evaluation essay questions
Evaluation Essay Questions

8. Describe at least three different ways you could use a map and tell how each would be helpful.

9. Pick two maps that we have learned about, then compare and contrast the maps.

teacher references
Teacher References
  • Laminated Wall Maps: More than four feet wide, these laminated, markable/washable wall maps (use dry erase markers) make superb classroom tools. The "political" maps are actually physical-political, with a five-color scheme distinguishing nations (or states in the U.S. map), shaded relief indicating mountain ranges, rivers shown in unusual detail, and state or national flags shown in a strip at the bottom. On the physical maps, red lines indicate boundaries,

shaded relief indicates mountain ranges, and colors indicate altitude.

  • Clearly Social Studies: Containing student worksheets, arts-and-crafts projects, ideas for bulletin boards, games, skits, writing prompts, map exercises, and eight color transparencies, these new Judy/Instructo books cover grade-level concepts in history, geography, and government. Fully attuned to NCSS standards, each level is divided into units that begin with resource sections made up of lesson starters, learning extensions, and added activities.
teacher references16
Teacher References
  • Map Skills and OutlinesBasic map reading skills are reinforced in this set that features 16 reproducible worksheets with corresponding full-color transparencies. Students use maps and additional resources to answer questions based on the five themes of geography (location, place, relationships within places, movement, and regions) and to study such varied features as elevation, climate, national boundaries, capitals, vegetation, and population.
  • Globali Junior AtlasLearning place name geography is made fun and easy through this ingenious hands-on memory game. Visual, verbal, and writing mnemonics are employed to help students remember the names, shapes, and locations of countries around the world. The kit contains ten laminated maps bound in a booklet (five maps labeled, five blank, covering Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America), 150 suggested mnemonics, an erasable marking pen, and a self-scoring rubric.
student references
Student References
  • Learning about Maps:Encourage children to create their own street maps, maps of places in their school and community, maps of pretend places, or treasure maps. Send home paper and ask children to make maps of their bedrooms. Children will also enjoy using rulers or a yardstick to make lines and borders for their maps.
  • Foam Maps:From the tip of Maine to the shores of Hawaii, from the Rio Grande to the chilly Alaskan tundra, the United States is filled with amazing sights to see -- so why not encourage your child to explore the world with this vibrant map puzzle? Perfect for learning about states, capitals, landmarks, and wildlife, this durable 54-piece puzzle will certainly satisfy your junior geographer. Learning Highlights: develops geography knowledge, builds problem-solving skills, and encourages a curiosity to learn about the world.
  • Maps Workbook: Maps skills have never been so much fun! This full-color workbook is packed with engaging maps and activities that will make learning map skills a snap. Key topics covered include location words and cardinal directions; map keys and symbols; latitude and longitude; and road maps, resource maps, product maps; and lots more.
continued student references
Continued Student References
  • My Map Book:This book is by Sara Fanelli and shows children that there are different kinds of maps (besides the usual kinds). The book includes maps of: the heart, a child's bedroom, the dog, and other items you would not have imagined!
  • Create Your Own Map:Allows students to utilize mapping skills learned to create their own map online.
  • State-By-State MapsColorful two-page spreads detail 50 states in seven regions plus the District of Columbia and four island territories. State descriptions have maps, captioned photos, famous-native profiles, thumbnail facts (state symbols and flag), and brief articles that cover history, origin of the state's name, scenic places, economy, geography, climate, and more. Regional introductions feature maps and timelines of key dates.
student references19
Student References
  • Map Desk pad Markable and washable laminated desk maps come in packs of ten. A five-color scheme distinguishes nations (or states in the U.S. map), shaded relief indicates mountain ranges, and rivers are shown in unusual detail.
  • Children's Atlas Packed with illustrations, paintings, photos, and informative text, this inviting atlas takes kids around the country to study the historical, physical, and unique features of each state. Presented in alphabetical order, states are given a two-page spread that includes a sidebar describing state facts and a timeline of important historic events across the bottom. The actual state maps show key cities, national parks, and physical features in shaded relief. An index of major places found on all the maps (plus a state reference list) completes this colorful resource. Grades K–3.
student reference
Student Reference
  • Student World Puzzle

Vibrant colors and quirky illustrations let kids travel the world while improving their motor and reading skills. Oceans teem with fish and ships, while continents bustle with animals and plants, as well as with people and landmarks representing various cultures. 24 jumbo pieces come in a sturdy box with a colorful rope handle.

media references
Media References
  • Beginning Geography: Introducing basic concepts and encouraging connections between school and the world we live in. (Reproducible)
  • Finding Your Way – Grade 1: Topics: small-area maps, directionality concepts, pictorial symbols, cardinal directions, and regions of the U.S. (Book)
  • Map Skills for Children DVD: Using Washington, D.C., as a backdrop, this whimsical and fast-paced series not only instructs students in the practical skills of map reading and map making, but also explores the evolution of maps.
  • Maps Across America: Topics covered in book: cities, capitals, boundaries, individual states, and regions of the U.S. Straightforward text and detailed maps and illustrations complement spectacular aerial and up-close photographs. Grades K–3.
more media references
More Media References
  • U.S. and World Maps and Globe Set: Aimed at helping students in grades 2–4 transition from the simplest to more complex maps and globes.
  • Kidspiration: Computer software designed to aid in students learning of new concepts and to create webs or maps of knowledge.
  • Internet Field Trip: Maps, Globes, and Map Skills - Provides web sites with information on maps, globes, and map skills. Includes resources for students learning to read maps with longitude and latitude.
  • Success With Maps: This is a series of teacher references and workbook pages to aid in student leaning of maps.
  • Small Worlds: Maps and Mapmaking by Karen Romano Young: Learn the language of maps, how to make them, how to use them, and who creates them. Small Worlds makes map skills fun. The story of maps touches on history, science, geography, math, art history, engineering, and much, much more. You will discover that there are maps all around you and come to appreciate their beauty and usefulness.
  • Maps for the Overhead: Neighborhoods and Communities: These three collections of full-color transparencies, accompanied by mini-lessons and activities, open up a whole new world for students and teachers alike. Young students learn how to read a map and map key, find directions using a compass rose, navigate a floor plan, interpret symbols, and more.
more media references23
More Media References
  • Discovering Maps: A Children’s World Atlas: This atlas has an easy-to-follow format using bright colors and interesting facts to help make learning about the world exciting for students. This up-to-date children's atlas introduces geographic terms such as scale, distance, longitude, latitude and direction with easy-to-read text and diagrams, maps, and full-color illustrations. Other features include colorful political and thematic maps of the world and all seven continents and a handy continent comparison chart.
  • Geography Songs for Children: Makes education fun when singing about maps and other locations for teaching.
  • Reader’s Theater: Students can write out their own plays and act them out for the given subject area or topic. Students are not only reiterating what skills they know on the topic, but students are also developing reading and writing skills as well.
more media references24
More Media References
  • Treasure Maps: Invite your child to bury an imaginary treasure, then make a simple map and provide clues to its location.
  • Map Games: Kids will love reading street and road maps, identifying foreign countries, map symbols, land and water formations, determining longitude and latitude, and more!
  • Me on the Mapwritten by Joan Sweeney and Annette Cable: In a playful introduction to maps and geography, step by step, a young girl shows readers where she is on a map of her room, her room on the map of her house, her house on the map of her street - on and on to her country on a map of the world.
  • Maps for Kids Website: Created originally as learning tools for students in elementary school. Our colorful maps and placemats assist children in mastering their geography skills, while learning fun historical facts and trivia. In addition to being child-friendly, adults will find our United States history maps, Lewis & Clark maps, and Montana history maps a useful teaching aid for their children … while brushing up on their own history and geography knowledge!
more media references25
More Media References
  • American State Capitals: Just the Facts To challenge viewers, each capitol city is identified onscreen only after several clues have been given. For example, "This city is home to the largest urban colony of bats nesting under its Congress Avenue bridge." With views of 50 capitals (capitol buildings and downtown areas always shown), this enjoyable

video neatly combines history and geography facts.

  • Animated AtlasArtfully blending history with geography, computer-animated maps help students visualize the where, when, and why of major historical turning points. Overlaid arrows and captions, onscreen dates, period illustrations or archival film, and crisp narration deepen the viewer's appreciation for unfolding events. Color. 20–30 minutes
more media references26
More Media References
  • Fifty States, Fifty Capitals

A lively state-by-state tour of the U.S. focusing on geography, history, and climate. The state profiles also include a wealth of information on major industries and the economy, and wonderful trivia about what makes each state unique. (Did you know that jousting is the official sport of Maryland?) Divided by region, the programs cover New England and the mid-Atlantic states, the South and the Southwest, the Midwest and the Great Plains, and the West, Alaska, and Hawaii. Grades 4–8. Color. Total time: 112 minutes.