Subject Area(s): Science/Geography

Grade Level(s): 5

Format of Library of Congress media: Maps

Best Instructional Practices



Social Studies


Each lesson will take three approximately 45 minutes with additional time needed for completion of the project.

Lesson Summary

Students will use the Library of Congress "Mapping the National Parks Collection" to identify landform changes by comparing and contrasting maps of the same land area over time (ex. Yellowstone Map 1972, Yellowstone Map 1998). Students will also discover change in map structure and tools for map making over time. Working collaboratively students will discuss and chart findings. Critical thinking requires student to develop reasons for the landform change. Then using gathered information from the map study, students complete a RAFT project to critically and creatively synthesize the information.

This lesson is designed to be used during a study of Landforms and assumes that students have prior knowledge of agents of Landform change (wind, water, ice, human impact) and types of maps. For assistance or review of reading maps, see Resource section.

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All of the materials used in this lesson plan are available for downloading as PDF Files. PDF Files can be viewed with the free Adobe Reader.

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