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K-12 Mapping Activities

Browse this collection of over 100 activities for use in K-12 classrooms that focus on creating and using maps. Have a map activity of your own? Submit it here to add it to the collection. Learn more about using maps in your class.


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Discovering Plate Boundaries part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
Students work collaboratively using data maps to discover plate tectonic boundary processes. Data sets used are earthquakes, volcanos, seafloor age, and topography. The authors below have submitted variations of ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Energy For You part of CLEAN Collection

In this activity, students explore what types of energy resources exist in their state by examining a state map and data from the Energy Information Administration. Students identify the different ...
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Aerial Photography and Mapping Lesson Plan: Images of Katrina part of CLEAN Collection

This activity from NOAA Ocean Service is about using aerial photographs to assess the impact of extreme weather events such as Hurricane Katrina. The activity features aerial views of Biloxi, MS ...
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Climate Change and Arctic Ecosystems part of CLEAN Collection

In this activity, students learn about how climate change is affecting the Arctic ecosystem and then investigate how this change is impacting polar bear populations. Students analyze maps of Arctic ...
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Tropical Atlantic Aerosols part of CLEAN Collection

Students use real satellite data to determine 1) where the greatest concentrations of aerosols are located during the course of a year in the tropical Atlantic region and 2) their source of origin. ...
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Ocean Currents and Sea Surface Temperature part of CLEAN Collection

In this classroom activity, students access sea surface temperature and wind speed data from a NASA site, plot and compare data, draw conclusions about surface current and sea surface temperature, ...
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Impacts of Topography on Sea Level Change part of CLEAN Collection

This lesson is comprised of three activities (three class periods). Students use web-based animations to explore the impacts of ice melt and changes to sea level. Students are introduced to ...
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How do seasonal temperature patterns vary among different regions of the world? part of CLEAN Collection

In this activity, students use the GLOBE Student Data Archive and visualizations to explore changes in regional and seasonal temperature patterns.
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Exploring NCAR Climate Change Data Using GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:NCAR Climate Change Data with GIS
DATA: NCAR Climate Change Scenarios. TOOL: ArcGIS. SUMMARY: Calculate summer average temperatures during the growing season (June, July, and August) using simulated, present-day, climate-modeled output and compare these to temperatures calculated using projected, future, climate-modeled output. Create a temperature anomaly map to summarize the analysis.

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How Cities Affect Their Local Climate part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Are Our Cities Warming the Earth?
DATA: GLOBE Program Surface Temperature. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Explore the urban heat island effect using student collected surface temperature data. Subset large datasets, buffer others, examine spatial relationships, and gather statistics to investigate temperature differences in urban and rural school sites.

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Using NASA NEO and ImageJ to Explore the Role of Snow Cover in Shaping Climate part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Exploring Albedo with NASA NEO
DATA: NASA Satellite Images. TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Explore and animate satellite images of reflected short wave radiation, snow cover, and land surface temperature downloaded. Then observe, graph, and analyze the relationship between these three variables.

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Lab 3: Normal Climate Patterns part of EarthLabs for Educators:Drought
The lab activity described here was created by Betsy Youngman of Phoenix Country Day School and LuAnn Dahlman of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Summary and Learning Objectives Students generate and explore a ...

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Mapping Local Data in a GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:MyMap
DATA: Student-collected GPS data and site characterizations TOOLS: MyWorld GIS, spreadsheet program SUMMARY: Follow a study of Urban Heat Islands as an example of map-based science research projects.

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Detecting El NiƱo in Sea Surface Temperature Data part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:PMEL
DATA: Sea Surface Temperature (SST). TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Examine 15 years of SST data from the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. Create and analyze average SST maps to identify El Nino and La Nina events.

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In Search of GLOBE Data part of Visualization:Examples
Students use on-line GLOBE search tools to locate and display data from schools and use the data to answer questions regarding weather and climate. Answer key provided.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Is Greenland Melting? part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:GreenlandMelt
DATA: Thickness, velocity, and annual melt extents of the Greenland ice sheet TOOL: My World GIS SUMMARY: Explore map layers to examine annual melting and long-term changes of Greenland's ice sheet.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Modeling the Effects of Dam Removal on the Elwha River part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
Students are introduced to the social and scientific issues surrounding the removal of the Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River, and conduct a hands-on experiment with real-world application to observe the effects ...

Where's the volcanic threat? part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
Students investigate Costa Rican volcanic hazards using (a) the amount of silica in volcanic rocks, (b) a highly-simplified geologic map and (c) a satellite image of Costa Rican night time illumination (i.e., human ...

Lessons on River Ecosystems part of Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
These lessons immerse students in thinking about the big idea of an environmental system as a network of interrelationships and evaluating the goodness of policy options for the environment in the future.

Discovering Plate Boundaries part of Urban Geology:Activities
Discovering Plate Boundaries is a classroom activity designed to introduce students to the process of observing and classifying data, in addition to the fundamentals of plate tectonics.

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