Activities, Lesson Plans, and More
- Y—Young (PreK-3rd)
- M—Middle (4th-6th)
- O—Older (7th-12th)
- T—Teacher Resources
Normal B. Leventhal Map & Education Center
Normal B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library is home to a massive online collection of historical maps. The website also offers K-12 educational resources for students and teachers to learn with and use maps.
David Rumsey Map Collection
David Rumsey Map Collection is the private historical map collection of David Rumsey, a map collector and President of Cartography Associates, a digital publishing company. The collection contains more than 200,000 maps, covering all areas of the globe, various landforms, geology, and tons more. The site also has interesting interactive tools to study maps, including one that allows you to overlay historical maps onto modern ones to study changes between them.
Osher Map Library
“Founded in the spirit of lifelong learning and a deep commitment to our communities, the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine enables free public access to and engagement with five centuries of cartographic materials via University, K-12, and public educational outreach; the preservation and digitization of our collections; gallery exhibitions; research and scholarship; and public programming that collectively promotes the continued relevance of maps and mapping as tools to help patrons understand the past and the present, and to imagine the future.”
World Factbook: World and Regional Maps
The CIA World Factbook has a large collection of downloadable political and physical maps of the world and various regions.
Arizona Geographic Alliance Resources
The Arizona Geographic Alliance website features a wide selection of political and historical maps free for download, as well as over 300 lessons and hundreds of map masters to assist in teaching geography. The Alliance is funded by the National Geographic Education Foundation (NGEF) and Arizona State University School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning.
Want to know more about a specific location? Dive right in -- Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips.
Google Maps Treks
Travel the world using Google Maps and Google Streetview! Besides studying a location using streetview, students can also take a guided tour using Google Maps Treks. Current available Treks include Mt. Fuji, the Amazon Basin, the Pyramids of Giza, Everest Base Camp, the Grand Canyon, and more.
National Geographic Maps Online
National Geographic has hundreds of map resources online. You can find printable maps, interactive maps, and maps on niche topics such as energy use, light pollution, hurricane trackers, tectonic plates, and much much more. These are accompanied by lessons and activities for all ages.
Geoscience Maps & Visualizations
American Geosciences Institute has a large online database of interactive geoscience maps you can use to visualize data and information about groundwater, drought, volcanoes, earthquakes, natural resources, geothermal wells, and tons more. You can search maps based on topic or location.
The US Geological Survey website has thousands of maps, covering topics like biology, climate, coasts, oceans, ecosystems, energy, geology, minerals, and much more. You can search the database by topic, year, or keyword.
NASA Earth Observations Maps
NASA produces hundreds of digital maps to track and measure data on earth. You can explore the planet by Atmospheric, Energy, Land, Life, and Water measurements. Many maps provide both historical and live data.
d-maps.com contains over 5,000 world, continent, and historical maps. Each one is available in GIF, PDF, CDR, AI, SVG and WMF. There is no cost for any of the maps.
Blank Map of United States
A printable map of the United States with state outlines.
Owl & Mouse Educational Software
Free interactive maps, printable maps, geography quiz questions and map puzzles to learn United States and world geography. Help your kids gain a vital understanding of geography by using these resources to learn about continents, countries, states, capitals, borders, physical features and cultural monuments.
Lizard Point Geography Quizzes
Test your geography knowledge of continents, countries, rivers, oceans, cities, and more with this extensive collection of online quizzes, printable maps, and other resources from Lizard Point.
Action Quiz Geography
Action Quiz offers kids the chance to play against pretend opponents as they test their knowledge about country locations, capital cities, flags, country shapes, borders, currencies and more. Lots of unique questions that may also have your kids consulting an atlas or globe.
Contains full color physical maps, political maps as well as key facts and statistics on countries of the world.
World atlas has flags of all countries, states and territories as well as a list of continents, countries, dependencies, islands, territories, lakes, rivers, seas, oceans, mountains, and the highest, lowest, biggest, smallest, tallest, deepest, oldest, youngest, richest, poorest places on the planet. Free maps test are available for teachers and if you are looking for an outline map that isn't listed, you can email them and they will send it to you by email. They offer a daily geography quiz (with a cash prize) which starts with one question and additional clues are added each day until someone wins. Once there is a winner a new quiz is posted the next day.
The Growth and Distribution of American Cities:1790 to 2000
A collection of PDF maps from the US Census Bureau that the growth of US cities and states, with a map every 10 years from 1790 to 2000.
Historic Map Collection
This collection of maps made available online by the Library of Congress can complement history studies or may be just plain fun. I quickly found a 150 year old map of my city by browsing the maps geographically. The zoom controls and map navigation are not intuitive, but there are instructions on each map page explaining how to pan around the maps. It is fun to compare the old maps to the way development has changed the landscape. It is also easy for students to see the clear importance of important modes of transportation such as rivers and railroads over time.
Library of Congress Story Maps
“Story Maps at the Library of Congress are immersive web applications that tell the incredible stories of the Library’s collections through narrative, multimedia, and interactive maps.”
Enchanted Learning Geography
Dozens of map and geography resources for elementary students.
Facts, maps, and state symbols for the 50 states, with links to related quizzes and printouts. From Enchanted Learning.
Geology.com has a large collection of online maps of the US and world. Explore regions by political boundaries, roads and cities, elevation, landscape, rivers, and more.
Seterra Map Quizzes
Seterra geography games and quizzes can be played online or via mobile app on Apple or Android. They offer more than 400 free games, covering US states and capitals, world countries and cities, flags, rivers, mountains, regions, and more.
Carleton College: Teaching with Maps
Carleton College has a large collection of map-based K-12 classroom activities and other resources that you can browse online. The lessons and activities cover topics in biology, chemistry, environmental science, geography, geoscience, and physics.
GeoInquiries Map-Based Activities
ESRI, the creator of the popular online mapping software ArcGIS, has a large collection of inquiry-led, map-based activities that cover a range of subjects, including mapping in literature, earth science, human geography, mathematics, history, and more. Each activity is accompanied by custom, interactive maps.
American Panorama: An Atlas of United States History
American Panorama is a project from the University of Richmond that uses interactive mapping techniques to tell stories from history. You can use maps to learn about Redlining in the US, the Homestead Act, Electing the House of Representatives, Travel Times in the historical US, and more.
Time Maps: Ancient History Encyclopedia and Atlas
Browse the TimeMaps History Encyclopedia by topic, date, or region of the world. The TimeMaps Atlas has thousands of interactive maps and timelines you can search by region or country. Their Teachers page also has educational resources designed for middle school and high school students.
GeaCron Interactive World History Map
Use the GeaCron interactive history map to browse civilization boundaries and locations around the world during various points in time. The map chronicles from 3000 BC to modern day. Use negative numeric values to search BC, i.e. -3000 for 3000 BC.