Maps that Teach take advantage of the fact that geography
is spatial. They also utilize the way kids learn best, by actively participating
in their learning; learning by doing. As students assemble the maps,
they build a permanent mental picture of their world.
From Maps that Teach, a student will learn
about the continents and where they are in relation to each other; the countries
of the world, their capitals and major cultural landmarks, physical features;
what is far and what is near.
For the United States, students will learn the states,
their capitals, major physical features, and important historic routes that
established connections between parts of the country. Students need more
than a rote memorization of state names and capitals in order to make U.S.
geography meaningful. They should have an understanding of where states
are in relation to each other, and the physical characteristics of each
region. U.S. students should have a permanent mental picture of their country
in their heads, so that any thing they learn about their country can immediately
be related to a place.
Maps that Teach are also a lot of fun. They are
all played as games, individually or in a group, competitively or not. Can
you point to Zimbabwe on a map of Africa? Do you know where the Vietnam
war took place? Can you find the Spice Islands (on a map, not in a boat)?
Done as a complete program, Maps that Teach will give a student a
solid basis in both U.S. and world geography. It is an easy and fun way
for your kid to know, "Where in the world am I?"
Maps that Teach have several different formats of
learning maps, to be used in conjunction with each other:
For each continent or major region of the world, we offer an on-line,
interactive map. When the mouse cursor is moved over an area, its name
and capital can be seen. These maps can be used to ask, and then check,
correct identification of states or countries and their capitals.
For each of these areas, there is also an interactive map puzzle,
in which a country or state appears, to be placed in the correct place
on the map. Each map puzzle also has a similar program for learning
the capitals. Because they are interactive, map puzzle help students
learn a permanent picture of the map.
Further, there is a map puzzle of major cultural landmarks around
the world, and maps of the major physical features of the world, and
of the US. It is one thing to learn that the Appalachian mountains run
from Maine down into Georgia; actually putting the Appalachians in the
proper place on a map makes it memorable.
We also offer free US and world maps (outline maps) to be printed
out on any PC printer, in sizes ranging from a single page to over 7
feet across. Since the maps are free, they can be used freely - tracing
the route of Around the World in Eighty Days, or Magellan’s Voyage,
or the journey of Lewis and Clark; drawing pictures of the forts along
the Oregon Trail; marking trade routes and explorations. Mark, trace,
draw, color or write on them—they are meant to be used.
By using the full range of maps in Maps that
Teach—countries, capitals, monuments, mountain ranges, rivers - students
will gain a permanent mental map of the US and of the world. They will have
the basis of a life-long knowledge of geography, and a beginning to all
the knowledge for which geography is the basis.
Suggestions for using the maps in Maps that Teach:
Each continent's Map Puzzle teaches the name
and location of the countries and capitals. A country appears on the screen,
with its name, and the student places it in the correct position on a map
of the continent. In a similar game, the capital has to be placed in the
correct country. A separate game has students place major mountain ranges
(Andes, Himalayas, Alps), rivers, deserts and jungles on a map of the world.
Learned this way, a basic knowledge of where features are becomes a permanent
mental picture. Yet another map teaches the location and significance of
major world monuments.
The United States map puzzle shows a state with its name,
to be placed in the correct location. The capitals are then placed (in a
separate game) within their state. Students can learn the location of the
physical features—mountains, rivers, lakes, etc.—and their location in relation
to the state boundaries, to form an enduring mental picture of the U.S.
On-line interactive maps show the countries and capitals
of a continent or region—Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, Middle East
or Central America—as the computer mouse moves over the country. Surrounding
areas of land or water are also named.
With on-line interactive maps, students can give an answer,
then check it by moving the computer mouse, or one student can label a country
and its capitals (with a pencil or pointer), then another can use the computer
mouse to check his answer. Another way to use these maps is to print them
out, have the student write the country and capital on the map, and then
check the answers with the computer.
MegaMaps will print outline maps on an ordinary PC printer
from a single page to over 7 feet across. They can be used to compliment
the study of any period of history where there was migration or movement—which
is almost all of them. A large version can be printed and used as a puzzle
for students to assemble, then the map can be hung on the wall. Younger
students may want to cut out pictures and paste on the appropriate places
on the map.
Students can trace anything from the journey of Lewis and
Clark to the routes of the Underground Railroad to the main battles of the
Civil War on the U.S. map. Any place it would be useful to have a map that
can be changed or drawn upon, you can use these free maps. The world maps
can be used similarly, to show voyages of discovery, migrations, the spread
of empires, etc.