The map that named America
I wrote earlier about the map created by Robert Louis Stevenson before he wrote Treasure Island. I especially liked his quote – that maps have:
the power of infinite, eloquent suggestion.
I suggested that we need to use geographic tools and powerful maps to create engaging activities for our kids:
Not one of those cheesy, sad outline maps that comes as part of your textbook’s supplementary materials package. I’m talking about a map with depth and richness and mystery, one full of questions and possibility.
And what should I come across this week but another great map. Several of us were exploring the wonderful MyLOC web site and ran across a lesson plan and materials connected to Martin Waldseemuller’s 1507 world map.
Like the Treasure Island map, the Waldseemuller map is another example a map with “depth and richness and mystery, one full of questions and possibility.” There are several nice tools that you can use with the map:
- a LOC press release with some nice background
- a site with more info on the map itself
- a LOC page with a direct link to downloading the map
- a LOC lesson plan page
- an interactive site that lets you dig deeper into the map
If you’ve not done much with maps before, this is a quick and easy way to dig into a wonderfully engaging tool. If you already feel comfortable with using maps, adapt the lessons and materials in a way that best fits your kids. Either way, students will walk away knowing more!
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