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Mapping Our World

Found In: social studies, 3-5, 6-8

Mapping Our World explores how our perception of the world is formed by different map projections. The three-lesson curriculum for grades 4-8 is designed to be projected on a whiteboard.

Three-Lesson Curriculum

Lesson 1 introduces students to maps and globes with three activities. Each activity provides teacher notes and has focusing questions.

  • The Globe Unwrapped lets users select different views of the globe and flatten the landmasses to see the distortions that result.
  • With What On Earth?, users identify Earth features from space.
  • In Holey Moley, users estimate where Moley will appear after tunneling from Britain through Earth’s core to the other side.

Lesson 2 compares popular map projections.

  • Chat Show is a simulated argument between Mercator and Peters about the merits of their projections.
  • Map Merging lets students compare Mercator, Peters and Eckert IV projections.
  • Which Map Is Best? proposes that no one, perfect projection is possible and that purpose determines which projection is best.

Lesson 3

  • Find the Right Place challenges users to match countries and flags. Some of the projections have the South Pole at the top. There are six maps and flag collections.
  • In How Many Times?, users discover how projections distort the apparent size of nations.
  • Walk The Plank asks users to save Shipmate Bob from the sharks by helping him chose the correct map.

The lessons are liked to UK curriculum standards but comparable state standards can be easily determined.



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