Monday, November 17, 2008

Finding and Teaching With Historical Maps

This morning, as I was looking for some maps to use in one of my classes I found two great resources that should be of interest to history and geography teachers. The Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin features a collection of hundreds of links to historical maps from around the world. There are twelve categories of maps in the collection. With that many maps there is bound to be something for every history and geography teacher.

The other great map resource that I found today comes from The Newberry Library in Chicago. The Newberry Library has a couple of great plans for using historical maps in the classroom. Historical Maps in the Classroom has lesson plans suitable for use in Kindergarten through the twelfth grade as well as a selection of lessons for use at the collegiate level.

Applications for Education
Historical maps have a number of uses in history and geography classrooms. One way to use historical maps in a World History class is to have students look at an old map, pick out countries that no longer exist and then have students find out why those countries no longer exist. Last year I did this as part of lesson on the Cold War in which students studied the break-up of the Soviet Union.