It’s no secret. I love maps. I’m pretty sure maps love me. Big. Small. Old. New. Treasure.
I love ‘em all.
And the cool thing about the InterWebs is that someone is always making new maps that I can fall in love with. Recently it’s been the Washington Post.
We’re all visual people and the brain loves to look at stuff. So all of the maps and charts listed below would work great as writing prompts, hook activities to introduce units and lessons, resources for research, basic geography skills, part of PBL projects, or to simply act as a sweet way to jump-start a current events discussion.
But I’m also sure that you’ll come up with all sorts of things that I haven’t thought about. (Don’t forget to use the links associated with each map to help your kids explore deeper.)
Here we go:
Google just keeps coming up with more cool stuff. And for all you map nerds, and history teachers, their new Maps Gallery is just the ticket.
Maps Gallery works like an interactive, digital atlas that lets you search for and find powerful, compelling maps. It’s much like the Gallery of tours you can find via the Google Earth tool. One of the biggest differences is that the Google Maps Gallery contains maps created by a variety of organizations, both public and private, and so you can find all sorts of maps, many mostly inaccessible to the public before now. Read more
We’ve got the National Geography Awareness Week. We’ve got Kansas Geography Day. But today in Hutchinson, it’s ESSDACK Geography Day.
Four times a year, an awesome group of middle school teachers show up here and we talk social studies all day. And, yes, it is lots of fun. One of the things we’ve tried to do during our sessions is to bring in outside experts from the different social studies disciplines. And today we have Lisa and John from the Kansas Geographic Alliance, sharing some sweet ideas and resources. Get the goodies from today here. Get all of their stuff here.
They shared the prediction that geospatial jobs will be one of the fastest growing jobs over the next 20 years. There is a huge need for kids who understand geography and how it connects to everything. It’s not about the what anymore, it’s about the where.
Need a bit of a taste of their stuff? Read more
I’ve been on a map kick recently.
Recently might be a bit relative. Recently and maps for me means since sometime during the early 1970s. But over the last few week, I have perhaps can a little past the normal map crazy.
And thanks to Lisa and her recent comment, I’ve gotten hooked on a whole new set of tools. Called MappingWorlds, the site offers users a new way to look at the world by resizing countries on the map in relation to a series of global issues. For examples, you can view which states have the most Big Foot sightings (Kansas – 26) or which states have the largest budget shortfalls (Kansas – $137 million). Users can then download data sets, maps and animations which can be shared across the Internet through websites, blogs, and email.
Created by a Dutch group, MappingWorlds provides a great way for kids to see data in a way that makes sense. We can talk about how many people live in China and India but when a kid sees those numbers via a MappingWorld graphic, deeper understanding starts to happen.
You can look at data for both the US, the world, and for some reason, Japan. So . . . you’re able to show the number of Sumo wrestlers by perfecture if you want.
Seems like a great place to start asking really good questions for your kids to noodle through.
(A similar site to look at is WorldMapper.)
“A map does not just chart, it unlocks and formulates meaning; it forms bridges between here and there, between disparate ideas that we did not know were previously connected.”
The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet
Tons of geography stuff.
Generic geography sites: Read more