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Storytelling with Maps101

Posted on July 24 2022

Storytelling with Maps101

Dear Educator,

A recent Gallup poll indicated that 8 out of 10 elementary students are engaged with school. This means they are paying attention, asking questions, and feel positive. However, by high school, that drops to 4 out of 10 students. As educators, how do we combat this learning fatigue that happens when the novelty of school dwindles with each new year and standardized tests remove the freedom and creativity from the learning process? Teaching through storytelling is a huge help. Stories make connections between people and ideas. They are intuitive and easy to recall. Stories are told within families, the community, and throughout the cultures of the world. Because storytelling is familiar to students, teachers earn trust and help students be more open to learning. Stories appeal to all learners. They allow complex ideas to be easily understood. Clearly, we need to engage students with content that tells a story. Take a look at these resources in Maps101 and help reignite students’ interest with the wonderful stories these resources tell.
Also, check out our Summer of Where landing page to discover even more content to inspire you as you plan how to bridge the learning gap that comes with the inevitable summer slide.

Field Trip

Our Field Trip Library contains numerous interactive journeys that tell the story of their topic with a map, images, and some text. Students are likely familiar with Christopher Columbus and his journey to the Americas. Have them follow this Field Trip to learn much more about the story of the European discovery of the New World.


Even maps can tell stories. Have students look at this map and based on it alone, have them write a short paragraph that tells Coleman’s story. Interested students can read the GNN article this map was created for to learn more about Coleman.

Geography News Network

Another story students may be interested in is about the birth of West Coast Hip-Hop and its connection to a city outside of Los Angeles, California, called Compton. Many famous rappers are from this part of California. Have students read the article and look at the map. It too tells a story.

Lesson Map

The era of the Space Race is important to both U.S. history and world history. With the Cold War brewing, the world’s two superpowers were battling for superiority in outer space. Lesson Maps provide more than mere facts. They are like extended Geography News Network articles that provide context and connections to tell the story of their topic. In this Lesson Map, students will understand why the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in the Space Race, how President Kennedy felt about the U.S. role in space, and the significance of the Apollo 11 mission.

Geography News Network

One of America’s most important storytellers is Mark Twain, born Samuel Clemens. The location of two of his most enduring stories for children, Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, are along the banks of the Mississippi. Have students learn more about this noted author in this exclusive GNN article.


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!

Don’t forget to visit our Summer of Where landing page to discover even more content to inspire you this summer, and frankly, anytime!

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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