On August 26, the National Park Service celebrated its 100th anniversary and as one part of the celebration, we’re asking you to “Find Your Park”. The NPS now has over 400 sites across the nation that offer something for everyone. If you like mountains, the beach, or history, we’ve got a site for you.
Seriously. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love maps.
I spent countless hours during my growing up summers in the cool basement, browsing through boxes of old National Geographic magazines – searching for and studying their wonderful maps. And even today, the monthly arrival of the National Geo mag means nothing gets done until I flip through all the pages checking for those very cool inserted maps. We have more than a few old geography textbooks in my house. Atlases. Gazetteers. Boxes of state maps collected during trips. Folded city maps.
When I left one particular school district, I even took the pull-down maps with me because I knew they were being replaced over the summer and would get thrown out. (That’s just between you and me, of course.)
Basically, you do a map search with a Google Maps-like interface, click on a specific place on the resulting map, and the Historical Topographic Map Explorer will provide a timeline with topo maps from the past.
It’s no secret. I love maps. I’m pretty sure maps love me. Big. Small. Old. New.
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.)