WE'RE ON THE MAP!
Department of Geology
College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, VA 23187
Level: Grades 5 - 8
Estimated Time Required: 45 minutes
Anticipated Learning Outcomes
Maps and map symbols play an important role in many aspects
of geology. Familiarity with maps and map reading are important skills for
work in the geosciences as well as for everyday living. This map exercise
introduces students to basic topographic map symbols. Students will have
the opportunity to see their own school environment depicted in two dimensions.
First, students learn to interpret some basic map symbols using a map of
the topographic quadrangle that includes their school. Then, students will
work in small groups to use map reading skills to make observations and
generalizations about unfamiliar areas.
Results and Discussion
MAKOWER, Joel, 1992, The map catalog: Every kind of map
and chart on earth and even some above it, 3rd ed., Vintage Books, NY, 364
THOMPSON, Morris M., 1988, 3rd edition, Maps for America: Reston, VA, U.S. Geological Survey, 265 p.
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, Topographic Map Symbols: Reston VA, U.S. Geological Survey, pamphlet.
Notes to Teachers
There are several ways to acquire 7.5 minute topographic
maps. You may order them, for $2.50 plus shipping, from the Earth Science
Information Center, phone 1-800-USA MAPS or (703) 648-5920. A free index
of maps is available for each state. You may also request multiple copies
of the free brochure, Topographic Map Symbols. A packet of teaching aides
is available by written request on school letterhead. Briefly describe your
project and grade level. Address your request to Earth Science Information
Center, U.S. Geological Survey, 507 National Center, Reston, VA 22092. FAX
(703) 648-5548, or write USGS Map Sales, Federal Center, Box 25286, Denver,
Superceded topographic maps are sometimes available to teachers free from libraries or geology department collections. Check with your local library, nearest government documents depository library, and geology departments at universities.
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