Map Maker, Map Maker
How to Make Your Own Maps

You will need a large wall map to track each migration and sign of spring your class will study this spring. However, if it's too expensive to purchase maps students can create their own. Earth Science teacher Marv Mikesh suggested the following activity. He found it gave students ownership at the beginning of the project, and helped them become familiar with the regions through which the migration would pass.

Materials Needed

  • Description of Regions needed to map each migration/sign of spring.
  • Atlases
  • Overhead transparencies
  • Chart or butcher paper
  • Fine-point felt-tip markers

1. Have students look through atlases, textbooks, reference books and teacher support materials for a map that covers the region specified for their species or spring event.

2. Make an overhead transparency of the map.

3. Tape a large sheet of paper to the wall, and project the map on the wall at the desired size using an overhead projector. Students can use fine-point felt-tip markers to outline their own map. White butcher paper serves as an inexpensive source of paper for map construction.

1. What did you learn while you made this map?

2. What advantages does a "handmade" map have over a commercially-produced map?

National Geography Standards

The World in Spatial Terms
How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information.