All About Maps -

All About Maps

Length:  9 units
Content-type: Text-based
Age/Grade: Kindergarten – 8th Grades
View a sample of All About Maps
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How to Use This Course

Maps are an integral part of geography. This course starts with basic map skills including directions and the compass rose and advances through a study of latitude and longitude, various types of maps, natural resources, how settlement and war have impacted political maps, settlements and land use, natural disasters, and natural hazards.

Course Introduction

All About Maps is a geography class comprised of nine units, with each unit increasing in difficulty and grade level. Unit K is appropriate for kindergarten, Unit 1 is appropriate for 1st grade, Unit 2 is appropriate for 2nd grade, etc., through Unit 8 for 8th grade.

However, these units can be begun at any point. For example, if you have a 4th grader who has not had much background in geography, you may choose to do Units 1, 2, 3, and 4 over the course of a year. Your student may find some of the lessons and activities in the earliest units below his or her ability, but it will provide a solid introduction to map skills that will be needed in later studies. Or, if you review the content in those units and find your student already has an understanding of those concepts, you can simply start with the unit that matches your student’s grade level.

Printable lessons with activity suggestions.

Unit K: Kindergarten

  • Create Maps of Familiar Places
  • Develop a Sense of Awareness of Geographical Location


Unit One: 1st Grade

  • Types of Maps
  • Compass Rose and Cardinal Directions
  • Symbols and Plans
  • Continents and Countries
  • Basic Map Key


Unit Two: 2nd Grade

  • Equator and Hemispheres
  • North and South Poles
  • Intermediate Directions
  • Creating Maps of Stories


Unit Three: 3rd Grade

  • Street Maps
  • Grid Networks
  • Latitude and Longitude
  • Prime Meridian, Tropic of Cancer, and Tropic of Capricorn
  • Climate and Vegetation Regions of the World
  • Major Biomes


Unit Four: 4th Grade

  • Map Scale
  • Population Maps
  • Using Latitude and Longitude to Find Locations
  • International Date Line
  • Resources and Services
  • Natural Resources


Unit Five: 5th Grade

  • Mercator Projection
  • True North
  • Magnetic North
  • Physical Maps
  • Time Zones
  • Cartography


Unit Six: 6th Grade

  • Topographic Maps
  • Resource/Economic Map
  • Weather Charts and Maps


Unit Seven: 7th Grade

  • How the United States Has Changed Over Time
  • Impact of World Wars I and II on Political Geography


Unit Eight: 8th Grade

  • Reasons for the Establishment of a Settlement
  • Types of Settlements
  • Land Use
  • Town Planning
  • Transportation and Roads
  • Natural Disasters and Natural Hazards
  • Causes, Effects, and Prevention of Droughts and Floods
  • Causes, Effects, and Response to Tropical Cyclones, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes

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