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Journey North


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Geography

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America

Journey North Maps

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  • This depository of interactive maps visually details the seasonal sightings of monarch butterflies, robins, gray whales, and bald eagles in North America.
  • Students can see images of pollinator habitat, track animal sightings, report a sighting, and analyze historical data for each species.
Teaching Tips


  • This interactive resource can be utilized in several ways to get students excited about learning.
  • The maps are easy to read and work with.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be able to read maps and simple data sets. 


  • This resource can be used in science classes working on ecosystems, species, or migration, or in social studies classes focusing on geography and mapping. 
  • This resource could be used in a single lesson or checked throughout the year to monitor the migrations of one or more species. 
  • Try dividing students into groups to be responsible for tracking one of the species throughout the school year. They can track their movements on a paper map, record the dates, and write about why the animals migrate. 
  • For additional context or to extend the lesson, connect this topic with changes to animal migrations due to climate change. This video could be a great resource for students to explore.
  • To enhance this connection, have students review this other interactive map from the Nature Conservancy that shows possible climate-altered migratory paths for a number of species.
Scientist Notes
The spatial distribution of birds, butterflies, and other threatened species in North America is shown in this resource. The data layers and attributes contain no scientific misconceptions, and using this resource in the classroom is advised.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • 3-LS1-1 Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
    • 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-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.2.3-5 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their environmental characteristics.
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