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Maps101 Helps You Engage Students of All Grade Ranges

Posted on September 26 2021

Maps101 Helps You Engage Students of All Grade Ranges

Dear Educators,

You may be a long-time subscriber to Maps101, in which case, you probably have your go-to pieces of content in mind when you teach. Or, you may have recently benefitted from your district’s subscription. In either case, this week, we are looking to expand your knowledge of some of the content available to you—to add to your list of go-to resources or to get you started. With Maps101, you of course have thousands of maps, but you also have thousands of other choices of content, including a library of exclusive Geography News Network articles, full-content lessons with teacher editions, called Lesson Maps, virtual Field Trips, activities that connect diverse content areas to maps, and so much more. Let’s take a short tour of the variety available to you. As you plan your lessons, keep returning to Maps101 as your resource for engaging students about their world.

K-2 Field Trips

Maps101 supports students in all grades. For the earliest learners, we have three special Field Trips to challenge them to use technology while learning basic mapping skills, fundamentals on the United States, and all about parks.


This age group also benefits from simple maps they can easily understand. We have a large collection of beginner maps that are useful for this age range. These include a community map, a bird’s-eye view of a farm, a typical neighborhood, a representative town, the states in the U.S., the world, Earth, the universe, and more! To find the basic K-2 Beginner Maps collection, choose Maps from the Collections dropdown menu in the top righthand corner of the screen, near the Search bar. Then, choose Map Types in the Filter on the left. From there, choose Beginner Maps. Below is a link to the My Neighborhood map. It is a favorite of many teachers for this age range. If it isn’t currently one of yours, we bet it will be.

Early Learner Field Trips

Students in this age range are especially curious about the world. Maps101 has a special Field Trip collection for learners in this age range, to help them navigate online while learning about topics of interest, including monarch butterflies, fossils, zoo animals, and even fruits and vegetables. (Parents everywhere appreciate their children learning about these nutritious foods!) Explore along with your students as they see colorful pictures and read easy-to-understand content.

Geography News Network Junior

Many of your students are ready to tackle articles written with them in mind. Our exclusive Geography News Network is open to your students too! A quick search for GNN Junior, or clicking the link below, opens up a variety of articles of interest for your upper elementary students. Each article includes a PDF version with a wider margin for students to take notes in as they read. Questions at the end help inspire classroom discussion. A sample of some of the topics covered include: “Barbies to Inspire,” “Hibernation,” “Where House Cats Come From,” “The Next Generation of Lego,” biographies, and ELA connections with the Little House series of books and Beatrix Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit. With GNN, you can always expect your students to be entertained, engaged, AND enriched.


This age group is likely to need reference atlas maps that are not too complex. Basic physical and political maps of the continents, regions and states in the U.S., and provinces in Canada, are helpful in the classroom. Choose Maps from the Collections dropdown menu. Among the Filters on the left, choose Map Types. From there choose K-3 maps to access over 130 maps for elementary students. The link takes you to the physical map of South America meant for elementary students. You can see how easy it is for your students to picture the Andes, the Amazon River and rainforest, as well as the Pampas. This example shows you the style you can expect from this extensive collection of maps for your classroom.


For those of you who teach middle schoolers, we thank you. These students are much more focused now on the world around them. However, this can often mean they are far more interested in each other than their studies! Nevertheless, in middle school, students get a firmer opportunity to learn the history of the United States and the world. They are introduced to more advanced topics in science. And they are expected to expand their reading skills. Geography is everywhere in middle school!

Lesson Maps

Let’s look at Lesson Maps first, which provide extended content at the lesson level, online. With Maps101, each lesson is fully explored without the limitation of textbook length. Images accompany the text, and, at point of use, students can extend their understanding with vetted links or connections to other Maps101 content. An excellent example for students is the Lesson Map “Immigration and Naturalization.” This is a perennial topic of discussion in the United States and is in the news nearly daily in some form.  


Each Lesson Map includes a Teacher Wraparound Edition that provides you with ideas and activities to further engage, reinforce, and inspire your students at point of use throughout the lesson. We recommend choosing which activities to do as there are so many you may not have time for them all! Activities are leveled as well, to provide further examples of how to reach all of your students.


These are only a few of the examples of content related to the world’s religions that you have access to with your Maps101 subscription. There are National Geographic videos on Angkor Wat, Japan, and Buddhist Monks. There are GNN articles to read on topics like Ramadan, Diwali, sacred spaces, and more. And of course, we have maps! Maps101 is committed to ensuring that your students understand their world and the world of others. With globalization and instant access on the internet, supporting DEI is more important than ever for unity and growth, together.

Field Trip Library

To directly connect topics to maps, review our interactive Field Trips, which are exclusive with your Maps101 subscription. Field Trip collections include: U.S. History, Space & Science, Texas and the West, and more. With climate change producing extreme weather all over the world, we recommend the “Extreme Weather” Field Trip for your students. Click the Launch Field Trips button below the map to open a new window to see the content full-sized.

Geography News Network

Now that students have reached high school, they are ready to understand their world more deeply. Every week, explore the latest Geography News Network article with your students. We tackle current events, but unlike online news sources, GNN is written for students, not adults, to fully explain what they need to understand. We also reach into the past to ensure students have familiarity with key events, to examine them with their growing perspectives. People too, in the form of biographies, are important for high school students to learn about as they expand their world. Some of our biographies discuss people with whom students are already familiar, while others introduce less famous individuals who deserve recognition. Sometimes, our biographies take us to the world of sports, literature, artists, musicians, and more. Science, too, is a topic that students need to understand better as the world is affected by climate change, for example. Innovations in science are also frequent topics of GNN. Every week, check Maps101 and bring the world, past and present, to your students. The most recent GNN focuses on Hispanic Heritage Month. Link to it below.


One of the benefits of teaching high school is that all articles, Field Trips, Lesson Maps, videos, maps, GeoInquiries and other activities, etc. are accessible to them to understand and to enrich their experience. How can we highlight just one of the thousands of pieces of content available on Maps101??? We suggest you take a tour of the site or use the Search feature so you can benefit from all that Maps101 offers. If you have any questions, contact your representative or email us at

High-quality geography products for the classroom. From globes to wall maps, atlases to games, offers a wealth of products to help put your classroom on the map.
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