Photo: Students color in a Natgeo MapMaker kit.

Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic

Find ideas for classroom activities using National Geographic Education's MapMaker Kits. Students will develop a better grasp of geography and the interconnectedness of the world. These ideas can be adapted for any grade level.

More Ideas Like This

Photo: An interactive map of volcanoes around the world.

Map Earthquakes and Volcanoes

Use the MapMaker Interactive to see where earthquakes have occured and volcanoes have errupted. Have students map this information using the World Physical MapMaker Kit. Include information about the magnitude or explosivity of the events. Create custom symbols and a map key to make the map information-rich. View the plate tectonics layer on the MapMaker Interactive to see the relationship between geologic plates and tectonic and volcanic events. Ask students to represent this on their maps.
—inspired by Bruce Shotland, New Hampshire

Create an Imaginary Island

Use the World Physical MapMaker Kit to have students create an island complete with details on geography, culture, and ecosystems. Students should decide where to place their island on the map and take into account the location and how the climate will impact life on the island.
—inspired by Josh Powell, California

Illustration of a soccer ball.

Track Global Sports Events

Use the World Political MapMaker Kit to engage students in studying the places where competing teams are coming from for events like the World Cup.
—inspired by Sandra DaCosta, Pennsylvania

Photo of a luger hurdling down a track.

Map the Locations of Past Olympic Events

Use the World Political MapMaker Kit to track Olympic host cities. Have students create different symbols to represent summer and winter Olympic events and add a map key to represent this. When the Olympics take place, use the map to track the competiting countries and the numbers of medals their athletes win.
—inspired by Leslie Perry, Connecticut

Track Trade

Have students conduct research to find data on the movement of goods around the Earth. The types of goods they can research include food, electronics, minerals, or fuel. Then use the World Political MapMaker Kit to map out the movement of these goods from the country of origin to the destination countries. Challenge students to consider how the use of different types of transportation affects trade.
—inspired by Bethany Parker, U.S.

United States.jpg

Research Your State

Use the printable U.S. State Tabletop Maps to track the history of development and settlement in your state. Have students research and apply to the map information on important historic landmarks, landforms, and the spread of population and transportation networks over time.
—inspired by Sheila Grimsley, New Hampshire

Map Your Global Footprint

As a group, take a survey of where your shoes and clothing come from by checking the labels. Then use the World Political MapMaker Kit to mark locations of where the goods come from. Have a discussion about the global reach and interconnectedness of clothing and other goods we use every day.
—inspired by Deborah Edmondson, Texas

Monitor Current Events

Assemble the World Political MapMaker Kit and track current events over the course of the school year. Have students mark the location of events and add information with sticky notes, pictures, or news clippings.
—inspired by Rebecca Palmer, Australia