Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Resources for Teachers from the Ball State University Libraries

Teacher Appreciation Day: Cartographic Resources for the Social Studies Classroom

Cardinal Scholar is an institutional repository available for use by the Ball State University community.  The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) in Bracken Library offers maps and other resources for use in classrooms.  Now teachers can access Cardinal Scholar to use many of these available resources from the GRMC for education and learning.

Using Cardinal Scholar

Access resources by visiting the University Libraries main Web page or directly from Cardinal Scholar.   To find all of the available resources from the GRMC in Cardinal Scholar, click on "Communities and Collections" on the left of the page.  Then scroll down the list under the "Information Technology" section to “GIS Research & Map Collection.”  Then either type a key word, topic, or geographical place in the search box or browse by the title.  A list of resources including maps, games, posters, lesson plan ideas, and classroom activities will appear.  (The GRMC is constantly updating the educational resources in Cardinal Scholar, so check for additions from time to time).  Teachers and students can click on the file of the resource and save it for use in the classroom.  The GRMC has two large-format color plotter printers available for printing some of the large maps or posters, and a large-format laminator is also available.  (The GRMC charges directly to the Bursar for printing and laminating). 

Lesson Plan Guides and Tutorials

The GIS Research and Map Collection offers from Cardinal Scholar a lesson plan guide for teachers on how to use maps in the classroom:  Teaching with Maps:  Lesson Plan Guide from the GRMC for Using Maps in the Classroom.  This guide provides sample maps and lessons for teachers of social studies, science, English/literature, and economics.  The lessons range in scope and include using topographic maps, mapping prehistoric dinosaurs, studying Indiana authors, tracking the legendary Big Foot, and using football to study U.S. geography and history.  Other guides available from Cardinal Scholar include cartographic guides on women’s history, Black history, using Sanborn insurance and topographic maps, parts of maps, map projections, and genealogy resources.

Final Projects

Teachers can review activities to use as final projects for students like using a map of the Amazon to create an alphabet book, creating a map of Canada’s famous people and inventions, and students working in groups to create a pictorial map of Indiana history as a final project.  Each of these finished projects can be accessed from Cardinal Scholar.

Classroom Activities

Teachers can copy worksheets and other activities from Cardinal Scholar:  Africa Map Search and Canada Map Scavenger can each be completed using one map of Africa and Canada.  Students can learn about the events of the Cold War and use the 1989 world map from Cardinal Scholar to review where the tensions between the former Soviet Union and the United States were located.  Teachers can show world development using the Earth at Night map activity, demonstrate the world geography of the Olympic Games, and review European geography with the Santa Travels Europe worksheet.  Elementary and middle school students can test their knowledge of state capitals with the U.S. Capitals Puzzle game.  And teachers can even find out from Cardinal Scholar and the GRMC how to create a classroom seating chart using latitude and longitude.


The GIS Research and Map Collection creates custom maps and posters for education and learning.  These resources are all available for use from Cardinal Scholar, including the American Folklore and Legends map, a map about the Heritage of Southern Asia, and Storybook England map, which displays great works of children’s literature by English authors.  A new series features maps of women's issues around the world.  Teachers may also wish to use some of the historical maps like the map of John Dillinger's robberies, the range of the buffalo, La Salle and the Mississippi River, or Martin Luther King, Jr.  

Teachers can print out the educational posters from the GRMC including cultural maps of numerous countries like Pakistan and Argentina, a poster showing the effects of global warming over time on an Alaskan glacier, and posters to commemorate Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Veterans Day.


Teachers can also print the large maps created by the GIS Research & Map Collection to be used as board games:  Africa Trek Map Game features a large map of Africa.  Teachers can create game pieces and cards so students can move around the map of Africa, hopefully while learning the geography of the continent.  Using the Quest for Heroes I-Spy Game, students must race to find the heroes by identifying in which state they are located.  A new game, Europe Brainstorming Geography Game, is based on the popular Scattegories game.

Contact the staff of the GIS Research and Map Collection for any questions, concerns, or information about using other maps or educational resources or about using Cardinal Scholar.  The GRMC is open Monday through Friday during the summer from 7:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m.  The telephone number for the GRMC is 765-285-1097.

No comments: