Online Lesson Plans

Grades K-2 | Grades 3-5 | Grades 6-8 | Grades 9-12 | All Lesson Themes

Intro to Maps

  • Link to Intro to Maps Downloads
  • Grades K-2
  • Uses both old and new maps to illustrate the different ways people can use and make maps. After a short presentation, students will complete Tino’s Map Book, in which they will make their own maps of familiar areas.
  • ME Social Studies Standards: D1

Transportation & Maps 

  • Link to Transportation & Maps Downloads
  • Grades K-2
  • Shows how different modes of transportation changed maps and history. The students will complete a small coloring activity about two young tourists in 1900.
  • ME Social Studies Standards: C1, E1

Portland History

  • Link to Portland History Dowloads
  • Grades 3-5
  • Uses maps of Portland to illustrate important events and milestones in Portland’s history, including the Revolutionary War and the Great Fire of 1866. It is followed up by an activity booklet that uses additional maps of Portland.
  • ME Social Studies Standards: C1, D1, E1

Travel & Transportation

  • Link to Travel and Tourism Downloads
  • Grades 3-5
  • Shows how the development of tourism and different modes of transportation changed maps and history. It starts with tourism in Europe and ends with tourism in Maine. The activity that accompanies this is a map of the United States, which the students complete by coloring in the states they have visited according to how they got there. A 1930’s board game, “Streamlined Train Game” is also available.
  • ME Social Studies Standards: C1, E1

Medieval Maps and Monsters

  • Link to Medieval Maps & Monsters Downloads
  • Grades 3-5
  • Uses maps made during the Middle Ages and Renaissance to show the sea monsters and monstrous peoples that explorers expected to find in distant parts of the earth. Includes the Sea Monster Handbook, an activity booklet featuring an image search and space for students to create their own sea monsters, and The Dangers of Exploration, a maze in which students must find a path to the Far East while avoiding entities that medieval seafarers feared.
  • ME Social Studies Standards: C1, D1, E1

Maine State History

  • Link to Maine State History Downloads
  • Grades 3-8
  • Shows maps of Maine made in the 1800s and early 1900s to illustrate how the state was settled and developed. The first activity to follow the presentation is a booklet that features early maps of Maine, which students use to answer questions about Maine’s history. Students may use the completed booklet to help them answer trivia questions in the Touring Maine Board Game.
  • ME Social Studies Standards: C1, C2, D2, E1

Projections and Globemaking

  • Link to Projections and Globemaking Downloads
  • Grades 3-8
  • Tells the story of the ways the surface of the earth has been depicted throughout history, and how maps came to be the way they are today. The presentation is followed up by a creative globe-making activity that reinforces the difficulties mapmakers face when projecting the 3-dimensional earth on a flat surface. An additional activity using the Dymaxion Map-Globe of Buckminster Fuller is also available.
  • ME Social Studies Standards: D1, E1

Cartography & the Renaissance

  • Link to Cartography & Renaissance Downloads
  • Grades 6-12
  • Compares maps made in the Middle Ages to maps made during the Renaissance to illustrate the widespread alterations in European thought. The activity to follow the presentation features fictional journal entries from major mapmakers through history. Students must match the mapmakers with their cartographic creations.
  • ME Social Studies Standards: D1, E1

Colonization of New England

  • Link to Colonial New England Downloads
  • Grades 6-12
  • Includes a discussion of the rival powers competing for land in present-day New England and some consequences of that competition. Using a French, British, Dutch, and American maps, this lesson asks the following questions: Why did these countries want land in New England? Who benefited and who was harmed through the European colonization of New England?
  • ME Social Studies Standards: C1, C2, D2, E1, E2

Colonial South America

  • Link to Colonial South America Downloads
  • Grades 6-12
  • Examines European maps of South America and the Caribbean for illustrations of colonial ambitions. By observing the differing views of South America between nations and time periods, students will better understand the events of the continent’s colonization and some its consequences: war, exploration, and enslavement.
  • ME Social Studies Standards: C1, D2, E1, E2

Colonial Worldview

  • Link to Colonial Worldview Downloads
  • Grades 9-12
  • Uses European maps from before the American Revolution to show how Europeans saw the world and its inhabitants. By highlighting images of people, symbols, resources and tools, this lesson asks the following questions: Why did Europeans think colonialism was morally justifiable? Why did they want to colonize? How were they able to colonize so many parts of the world?
  • ME Social Studies Standards: C1, C2, D2, E1, E2

Grim Side of Thematic Mapping

  • Link to Grim Side of Thematic Mapping Downloads
  • Grades 9-12
  • Examines various kinds of thematic maps from the 19th century, including fire insurance maps, disease mpas, and war maps. This lesson asks several questions: Why were these maps produced? How have they been used? What conditions in the 19th century manufactured demand for these maps? This lesson includes a group activity in which students must work together to identify how a disease is being spread in a fictional town.
  • ME Social Studies Standards: C1, D1, E1

 

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