"Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms" consists of 18 modules organized into six major themes: discovery and encounter, migration and settlement, environmental history, the historical geography of transportation, political and military history, and the geography of American communities. The modules are accessible though the Map and Lesson Index page. Each module contains four age-specific lesson plans based on one or more primary map document that we call a core map. Core maps open in separate windows that allow for enlarging and panning the image to reveal details. A Curator's Notes page prepared by the Newberry Library's map curatorial staff is attached to each module. These notes provide historical background about the map. These notes are written for the benefit of teachers of all grade levels, but may also be read by high school students and some middle school students.
Each module also includes supplemental texts, documents, and/or images of maps, prints, and photographs that will enrich your students' comprehension of the periods and issues discussed in the various lesson plans. Each module has a Resources page that lists these supplements. You will also find listed here additional printed and online materials that will enrich your use of the module. You may also want to consult the General Resources on Cartography listed later in this guide. Many lesson plans will require some outside research. However, since Web sites are constantly being changed or disappear from the Web entirely, wherever possible, we have written the lesson plans so that their successful completion does not depend on the survival of sites over which we have no control.
Using the Lesson Plans
The lesson plans vary in length and level of difficulty. We are supplying fully developed plans but expect that you may modify them to suit the needs of your classroom. The suggested grade levels for each plan are strictly advisory. We strongly encourage you to look at all four suggested lesson plans in each module to find the plan best suited to the needs of your school and classroom. For example, an eighth grade teacher may find that the grade 9-12 plan is more appropriate to his or her local curricula.
Each lesson plan includes a list of key concepts or terms that are addressed by the lesson or which must be understood for comprehension of the lesson. The definition of these terms are found by clicking on the terms listed in the Key Terms section of the lesson plan. This will open an alphabetical glossary. The glossary may also be accessed by clicking on the Glossary of Key Terms on the menu bar at the top of each page.