Mapping Resources

Mapping Your School Yard from the United States Geological Survey: This series of lesson plans guides you through the process of creating a map of your schoolyard with special reference to rocks and geology, though Lesson 1 can be used for any kind of field study.

Me on the Map from the Utah Education Network: This is a 2nd grade lesson plan that uses a wonderful book called Me on the Map by Joan Sweeny. The book uses simple eye-catching drawings to show how maps can represent everything from your bedroom, to your street, to your town and so on, all the way up to the universe. The Utah Education Network has other lesson plans and information about maps at this link.

National Geographic Education (beta) and Maps and Geography Lesson Plans from National Geographic Xpeditions: Take some time to explore these excellent sites. Lesson plans are keyed to grade level, concepts and geography standards. There is a lot of information!

Mapping and Geography Lesson Plans from the Geological Society of America: Resources for Earth Science and Geography Instruction, from Central Michigan University.

Geography Tools and Educational Resources: A wealth of information about geography and GIS from the US Geological Survey (USGS). Many lesson plans and activities are included. USGS also provides geography teacher packets at this link.

National Atlas of the United States: Interactive map with hundreds of free geospatial data layers. Data are designed to depict patterns and trends on a national scale.

Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change: An e-book of before-and-after satellite images showing recent environmental events. Includes detailed descriptions and list of references.

Montana Maps and Spatial Data, from the Natural Resource Information System (NRIS): This website is loaded with maps and mapping data specific to Montana. It hosts information on everything from what fish are found in different streams to where major pollution sites are found. It may take a while to get used to the mapping tools but it is well worth it!

MontanaView: A consortium of universities, non-profit organizations and government agencies working within Montana to advance the availability and timely distribution of remotely sensed data. Click on the Education page to find some Montana-specific Google Earth exercises using digital data.

Montana Indian Education for All: Montana’s Office of Public Instruction does offer some K-6 grade Indian Education for All lesson plans that include map activities. Explore the IEFA Curriculum Resources page for more.

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection from the University of Texas at Austin: Probably the best single source for publically available, easy to view, downloadable maps. Includes historical maps, weather maps, maps with math applications, national park and historic site maps and much more from the US and World.

Google Earth: The main portal for downloading Google Earth and supporting information.


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The MSP project is funded by an ESEA, Title II Part B Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant through the Montana Office of Public Instruction. MSP was developed by the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program and faculty from Montana Tech of The University of Montana and Montana State University, with support from other Montana University System Faculty.