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Engage Students with Context and Stories Through Maps101

Posted on April 10 2022

Engage Students with Context and Stories Through Maps101

Dear Educator,

Happy spring to each of you from Maps101! Today, we are focused on how to better engage students. Everyone loves a story. A list of facts strung together with transitional sentences is no fun to read. (Sorry textbook companies.) However, here at Maps101, we love to provide the stories and context students need and crave, to help them actually picture the events of the past. Our Geography News Network (GNN) articles are a favorite among subscribers because they tell engaging stories. But, did you know that our exclusive Lesson Maps are like GNN articles with more muscle?! They are.

We take an important topic that nearly all state standards cover, and tell the story. We explain why this matters. We provide the context so students get more than a linear list of facts. And our teacher’s edition provides numerous, leveled ways to explore each heading. With Maps101, you can engage your students again and again. Let’s take a look at some of the Lesson Maps that are available in our Next Generation platform. You can find them under Collections, then Interactive Lessons from the top toolbar. Or, for quick access, use the links below.

Lesson Map

Obviously, Thomas Jefferson is an important figure for students to know about when studying U.S. history. He was one of the Founders and the writer of the Declaration of Independence. Today, more people are aware that he was also a slaveholder. But with our Lesson Map, we dig a little deeper. For example, we explain how he came to be a slaveholder. We share his accomplishments, but also his flaws. Students will see Jefferson in a new light and fully understand his role as a Founder. The Jefferson Lesson Map is an excellent example of how Maps101 provides far more than a textbook can.

STUDENT EDITION
TEACHER EDITION
Lesson Map

Understanding Earth’s biomes is key to helping 21st-century students become stewards of the planet. With Earth Day quickly approaching, now is a great time to look at this Lesson Map on the Biomes of the United States. Students will discover what a biome is, which biomes are found in the U.S., the meaning of biodiversity, and so much more. They will also SEE these ideas in action with beautiful images at point of use. Typically, a textbook may stop there, but we continue to extend the topic into a discussion about human-environment interaction and protection. And we provide a concrete example of the topic in action, with a discussion on polar bears and the polar region. Students finish a Lesson Map with a complete story.

STUDENT EDITION
TEACHER EDITION
Lesson Map

So far this week we’ve looked at the United States, but all of us are indebted to the early civilizations in Mesopotamia. World history and geographic understanding requires students to recognize the unique qualities of river valleys and the needs of early people. With our exclusive Lesson Map, students will learn more about this important topic and be engaged through their journey because the text is a story that flows. Students will benefit from this approach to content delivery. 

Here is an example, “As cities continued to grow, conflicts over water rights became an issue. Some cities built new canals or blocked water from flowing downstream, cutting off the water supply to other cities. Cities would fight each other over water rights, physically attacking and even killing people in the clashes.” Does this sound like something your students will read? We think so.

STUDENT EDITION
TEACHER EDITION

Other topics in our library of Lesson Maps include: Africa’s resources and economy, the causes of the Revolutionary War, Civil War battles, the U.S. economy, U.S. healthcare, George Washington, Hinduism and Buddhism, and so much more. This week, we invite you to take a look at our deep dives into the world through Lesson Maps. Maybe you will learn something new, too!

This is a small sample of the kind of content available to you with your Maps101 subscription. Every week, the editors at Maps101 will provide you with highlights from our extensive collection in this GeoJournal newsletter. We suggest you make a folder to store them for future reference. Expand your students’ world with Maps101!

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