Maps & Cartography: Teaching with Maps (K-12)
This page gathers selected map, geographical data and teaching resources as a starting point for incorporating maps into teaching. Please refer to our many other UB Libraries guides for additional map resources.
New and Highlighted Resources (Updated December 2020)
The Michigan Geographic Alliance (MGA) has created geography lessons for use by middle school and high school teachers.
- World Geography Lesson Plans (Central Michigan University). These lesson plans cover a variety of topics, including elevation, deforestation, sister cities, and satellite images. They are designed for grades 6-8 or 9-12.
- U.S. Geography History Lesson Plans (Central Michigan University). These lesson plans cover regions in the United States, American Presidents and trails. They are designed for students in grades 6-8 or 9-12.
National History Day: Maps Edition. A Guide for Finding, Analyzing, and Using Maps in Projects (Stanford Libraries). This website helps students learn about historical maps and guides them in their use as primary sources in their school projects.
World Geography Games. These internet quizzes will help kids, students and adults test their geographic knowledge. The site includes games focusing on countries, capitals and flags for the world or specific regions/continents.
- APUSH Maps by Era (Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center). A compilation of maps and instructional strategies created for teaching AP U.S. History.
- Dictionary Of Abbreviations And Acronyms In Geographic Information Systems, Cartography, And Remote Sensing by Philip Hoehn (David Rumsey Collection) and Mary Larsgaard (Map & Imagery Lab, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara Library). Designed by John Creaser (Earth Sciences & Map Library, Univ. of California, Berkeley). Comprehensive list of all acronyms. Good for identifying map data.
- Discover Diplomacy. Geography learning site by U.S. State Department. Includes a variety of materials for K-12 and higher education. One page, on Social Studies contains much for teachers and students.
- Resources for Teachers (USGS). Educational resources in a variety of media explaining the mapping sciences and earth resources.
- Digital History Historic Maps (Univ. of Houston). Resources for using historic maps in teaching. Also great site for historical maps.
- How Far is It? At this site, you can enter the names of two cities in the World, and it will return distance in miles, kilometers, and also latitude/longitude coordinates.
- Guide to Map & Compass. Excerpt from The Backpacker's Field Manual by Rick Curtis, 1998. Useful for learning simple navigation/orienteering for teaching. Also has link to purchase book.
- Gazetteers. Identify names of geographical features, and their locations on maps.
- Map History/History of Cartography. Links to cartography and geography sites that provide educators and parents with resources for teaching with and about maps.
- Teachers and parents: web resources relating to early maps. Some useful resources.
- Teaching about Africa with Historical Maps. Class presentation for K-12.
- Teaching About Africa for K-12 (Stanford Univ.). Many resources.
- National Geographic Classroom Resources (National Geographic Society). A website developed for teachers and students (K-12, though many good concepts are available for older learners).
- Latitude: The Art and Science of Fifteenth-Century Navigation. (Rice Univ). Basic history of the development of latitude. Also has: Portuguese Nautical Master Charts (on the origin of nautical charts).
- Topographic Maps. USGS page describing terms and concepts relating to topo maps. Also see USGS Topographic Map Symbols for a list of symbols and their meanings.
- UB Department of Geography. Contacts and links for more extensive needs.
- Cartographic Reference Resources (P-C Library, UT Austin). Many links to resources on: Gazetteers, Distance, Calculators, Time, Zones, Sun, And, Moon, Rise/Set, Calculators, Tides, Map, Projections, Map, Scale, Glossaries, And, Guides.
- Elevations and Distances in the United States (USGS). Quick tables, with elevation references for various topics (e.g., U.S. cities and their elevations).
- What is GIS? (ESRI). A good overview of what GIS can do, and how it works. This is a good page to show someone who wants to understand GIS.
- GIS for Kids (ESRI). An introduction to GIS for 4th and 5th graders.
- Glossaries of Geographical Terms. Also has GIS glossaries.
- Geography and GIS for Students, Educators, Parents, and GIS Users (American Association of Geographers and Esri). Website to build a geographically literate generation able to use this knowledge in their everyday lives to bring about true sustainable development. Projects, mentors, teachers, and other resources.
- How Maps Work: Projections. Introduction to map projections.
- 50 States.com. United States reference data. Contains basic statistics and geographical data on each state.