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The Biography Collection in Maps101

Posted on October 24 2021

The Biography Collection in Maps101

Dear Educators,

Learning from other people is fundamental to student growth. An important way to learn from others is to learn about their experiences—through biographies. In fact, here at Maps101, we believe biographies are so important that we have developed a collection featuring only these stories. 

Why are biographies useful in a classroom? Other peoples’ stories can be inspirational. Reading about the successes of others can show what influenced, motivated, or encouraged them. All people must also overcome challenges and hardships. Biographies reveal how people have done that. As a result, biographies teach lessons about life. In addition to inspiring us, stories about other people show us so much more about life. Some people have had to be independent and not listen to critical opinions. Some have dealt with failures or deep losses and still persevered, while some are kind and considerate or see the bigger picture. Biographies challenge us to learn and grow from others.


Review our Biographies Collection to engage students. Subjects of biographies range from historical figures, to artists and musicians, to political figures, and even to sports legends. Many of the people featured may be known already to students but others will be new discoveries. For example, “Stagecoach” Mary Fields may be unfamiliar, but she was formerly enslaved and then became a stagecoach driver who delivered mail in Montana. She carried a rifle to ward off thieves! Contemporary figures, like Greta Thunberg, will likely resonate with students. 

The Biographies Collection also encourages DEI skills as it features a wide variety of people, including women, African Americans, and those who are young, as well as people whom students may already admire, discover anew, and, most important, will learn from. 

The collection includes Geography News Network articles, maps, Field Trips, and Lesson Maps. Look through the Biographies collection to see how Maps101 supports learning in your classroom!



  • Life Story—Ask students to write a biography of someone they know personally, or have them research someone they want to feature. The story should be told in such a way as to engage readers’ attention and to provide insight into the subject of the biography.


  • Historical Figure—Students will better understand a historical period if they connect with the people involved. By having students research about the people rather than the events, they can find a personal connection to history. 


  • Hero—Anyone can be a hero. Who do your students admire, look up to, use as role model or mentor? Have students detail why this person is a hero.


  • Investigate Science—Scientific understanding and technological advances required the hard work and discoveries made by individuals. Understanding the processes a person took toward their discovery can help unlock understanding of the discovery itself. Have students focus on the steps a scientist or inventor took, focusing on their story as a biography to help them connect with the content.


  • Arts—There are numerous styles of art used by media artists to express themselves. In fact, art is another form of expression of the human condition. By delving into an artist’s life story, students can appreciate the media, process, period of art, and experiences an artist expressed through their art.
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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