Mapping & Geography
Creating Google Earth Tours – Help your students discover the wonder of Google Earth and view spectacular geography with this lesson plan using the unique and free program from Google.
Gilligan's Island Topographic Mapping Lab – Use your plastic island shoebox models to help students visualize and draw topographic maps.
Mapping Temperature Fields Lab – Help students understand isolines by mapping the temperature isotherms in their own classroom.
Lesson Plan Links
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- Mapping – Models of the Earth, Labs and lesson plans on mapping from Earth to Class.
- Google Earth With Students: Lesson on how to teach your students to use the free powerful satellite image program, Google Earth.
- USGS – A Model of Three Faults - Students make block models to demonstrate plate movement.
- NASA's Problem of the Week - Motion of the Magnetic Pole. Activity mapping movement of magnetic pole since 300 AD:
- Three Dimensional Geology - Apply geological concepts to a real-life problem-solving situation and give students an appreciation of the three dimensional nature of rock strata using rocks, fossils, and simulated cores
- Mapping activities:
- Lesson Plans on Maps: Click on the "What do maps show?" link for some lesson plans about maps, including about map scales and legends:
- Florida Geographic Alliance - These lesson plans were developed by teachers through workshops of the Florida Geographic Alliance. These plans cover topics such as mapping, hurricanes, Antarctica, country profiles, dinosaurs, Earth structure, regions, population and forces shaping the Earth. Each plan contains the procedure, time needed, objectives and any other information that may be helpful to educators.
- Latitude, Longitude, and Mapmaking (6-8) - This lesson requires students to review the concepts of latitude and longitude and to use these concepts to create maps of different countries on the computer. They'll conclude by discussing the reasons why it's important to understand latitude and longitude and by creating quizzes in which other students can locate "mystery" places that they map on the computer. Need Internet access.
- Contour Maps with DOGSTAILS (6-8) - Have you ever seen a child construct something from a lump of clay? Were you amazed at the results? During this lesson your students will craft miniature mountains from lumps of clay. They will then translate their mountains into topographic maps. These maps will include vital features and information such as date, orientation, grid, scale, title, author, index, legend, and sources-or DOGSTAILS, for short. When students know what goes into creating a representational map, they are more likely to understand how to analyze the geographic information in other maps.
- Mapping Mars - This lesson introduces students to some common map projections and representations (e.g. globes or close-ups) and asks them to consider the ways that each representation can be used to show specific features of Mars. Students will draw three different representations of Mars and will illustrate each one with details of research they have conducted on the planet.
- Oil and Water in the Middle East Region (6-8)- In this lesson, students will explore the roles of oil and water in the Middle East, especially in Iraq. Students will use maps to look at the distribution of oil in the Middle East and discuss what it means for the different countries in the region. They will also examine how water has influenced the region historically (in the "fertile crescent" region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) and politically (for example, how Iraq's access to water is limited to one small part of its border). Finally, they will study specific aspects of Iraq's struggles with water, using satellite imagery to understand and illustrate the problem. Need Internet access.