In this collaborative digital mapping project, students will work together to observe their community, ask and answer guiding questions, make a digital map of their community, and potentially design an environmental campaign based on their map.
The project guide provides teachers with detailed information for completing this multi-session group project.
The guide includes instructions for extending the project into a grassroots environmental campaign.
The resource is rich with compelling and clarifying graphics, step-by-step directions, and great ideas.
Teachers can find a helpful example of an environmental campaign on page 11 of the guide.
Students will need access to a Google account to use the mapping software. The guide provides tips for what to do if students do not have their own Google accounts.
Physical materials for this project include markers or crayons, large sheets of white paper, glue or tape, maps, and a camera or printed pictures of the mapped area.
This could be a meaningful cross-curricular earth science and social studies project. Students could complete portions of the project in each class and then discuss how the fields of social studies and science are related.
Due to the length of the project, consider breaking students into groups. Groups can work on maps of the same area or they can work on different sections of their community.
As an extension, consider taking the next steps (outlined in step 11) to begin an environmental campaign.
This resource is suitable for students to learn the basics of mapping using the Google mapping tools. Students will observe changes in their environment and create real-life projects to address key environmental and social issues in their community. This is highly recommended for the classroom.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Geography
D2.Geo.1.6-8 Construct maps to represent and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics.
D2.Geo.2.6-8 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and changes in their environmental characteristics.
D2.Geo.3.6-8 Use paper-based and electronic mapping and graphing techniques to represent and analyze spatial patterns of different environmental and cultural characteristics.
D2.Geo.8.6-8 Analyze how relationships between humans and environments extend or contract spatial patterns of settlement and movement.
D2.Geo.1.9-12 Use geospatial and related technologies to create maps to display and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics.
D2.Geo.6.9-12 Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
D4.6.6-8 Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.