Would you be more likely to use a paper map or a digital map? Why?
What is the main advantage of using a digital map? Can you think of any disadvantages?
What do you think would be the biggest challenge in creating a digital map? Why?
The map of Forced Migration of Enslaved People includes the stories of slaves who were sold and separated from their families. Do you think it's helpful to also include narratives expressing the views of slave owners? Why or why not?
- Prior to conducting this activity, select an overall theme: Do you want students to create maps related to a topic they are currently studying or should they create maps with a distinct connection to the area where they live?
- As a class, review the four interactive maps highlighted in the article by going to http://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/. Examine how the maps combine political, social, geological and economic information. Discuss how using different types of materials, such as data and narratives, gives readers a fuller picture of historical events.
- Introduce the overall theme. Then instruct students to select a topic within that theme and identify the best way to explore its history from multiple perspectives. Give students time to conduct research and gather information.
- Provide access to a digital program students are familiar with. Instruct them to compile the information they collected to create an interactive map on their topic.
Invite students to present their interactive maps to the class. As they do, instruct them to identify the type of information they examined—political, social, geological and/or economic—and explain how they used data, narratives or other types of materials to inform others about their topic.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
Have students complete the project in small groups. Assign each group a specific topic. Provide assistance as students collect information and create their interactive maps. Require students to include two types of materials to relay what they learned.
Have students complete the project in small groups. Instruct each group to select a topic. Review the choices to make sure each group investigates something different. Provide assistance as needed while students collect information and create their interactive maps. Require students to include two types of materials with at least three examples of each.
Have students complete the project with a partner. Instruct each pair to select a topic and conduct research on its political, social, geological and economic history. Challenge them to create an interactive map that makes a strong connection between two of these perspectives. Require students to include three types of materials with at least four examples of each.
Have students complete the project with a partner. Instruct each pair to select a topic and conduct research to learn more about it. Challenge them to create an interactive map that illustrates how political, social, geological and economic events have influenced their topic over time. Tell students to include three types of materials with at least five examples of each. Require students to identify all sources used.
This Smithsonian website integrates Flash video and text to examine armed conflicts involving the U.S. from the Revolutionary War to the war in Iraq. Each conflict contains a brief video clip, statistical information and a set of artifacts.
Nearly all forms of information and entertainment people receive are mediated through some kind of tool, whether it is television, radio, Internet, advertisements, etc. As a class, students will investigate their mediated community with cameras, gather visual representations and examine the ways they consume media.
This game show template demonstrates the importance of examining multiple sources in historical interpretation and shows the type of information that can be gleaned from different types of sources. The game is based on the show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and can be updated to reflect any time period or topic.
Explore the flag that inspired the National Anthem to discover stories about its creation, history and preservation. Open the hotspots to learn what makes this flag special to so many Americans and how the National Museum of American History is working to preserve it for future generations.
The interactive maps in this Smithsonian article show how megacities have taken over the planet during the past 100 years.
Students can use this site as a starting point as they look into the different map resources available through the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.