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Map Lessons:
The Route to Improved Geography Skills

To celebrate National Geography Awareness Week, Education World editors have created five lessons that employ maps to teach geography and a wide variety of other skills. Included: Lessons to teach all students about landforms, the global economy, maps from space, more!

Map Lessons


"When I got to the third grade, thats when I discovered the earth because I had my first geography book. . . . In the third grade room, there was a globe spinning on its axis, and the world was mine, and I feel its been my oyster ever since. Its whatever I can make of it and make of myself in it.
-- Albert Murray, writer on American culture

In June, Secretary of Education Rod Paige unveiled the results of the most recent geography testing of U.S. schoolchildren. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) "nations report card on geography revealed slight improvement at the elementary and middle grades, but 12th graders scores have remained flat for most of the last decade. Paige noted that much work remains to be done before geography skills reach acceptable levels. "For example, Paige said, "when given a map of the United States, 16 percent of eighth graders could not locate the Mississippi River, and one-fourth of fourth graders could not identify the state where they lived.


More Geography
Lessons from EW

Find hundreds of additional geography lesson ideas in our Geography Center.

Geography is at the forefront this week, as we prepare to celebrate National Geography Awareness Week. To recognize the week, Education World unveils five map lesson plans that can be easily adapted for use in most any grade.


This week, Education World provides five lessons for teaching about geography, maps, landforms, and more! Click on each of the five lesson headlines below for a complete teaching resource. (Appropriate grade levels for each lesson appear in parentheses.)

Create a Country
Students apply geography skills to create a map of an imaginary country. Included: Connections to every area of the curriculum! (Grades 3-12)

Global Economy: A Simple Activity
Encourage students to discover how we rely on our global neighbors by collecting data about where in the world the goods we use every day are produced. (Grades K-12)

Comparing Countries
A graphic organizer helps students compare and contrast two neighboring countries. (Grades K-12, Advanced)

Memorable Maps
This "memorable maps lesson provides students with a visual record of just how much they will learn about geography this year! (Grades K-12)

Earth at Night
Students use maps to identify the ten cities highlighted on an image of Earth at night as seen from space. (Grades 3-12)


While searching the Web for lesson plan ideas, Education World editors found dozens of great geography resources. Click here to review 20 of the best geo resources available!