Ask the class, "Why do we use maps?"
Have a short discussion about the reasons people today would
Tell the class that mapping began with Native Americans.
Discuss reasons Native Americans may have wanted to map the
land. (It has been found
that they mapped primarily to chart seasonal movements, hunting,
trade, and warfare. Try
to elicit these answers from students.)
List reasons on chart paper.
Divide the class into small groups, and assign each group one
reason from the list. For
example, assign one group HUNTING and one group WARFARE.
Have groups work together to brainstorm reasons a map would be
beneficial to their assigned areas.
Why would one need a map for hunting?
For warfare? For
Student groups should record their brainstorm sessions on chart
paper. When all groups
have had time to discuss their assigned areas, post the chart papers
around the classroom. As
a whole class, discuss why Native Americans created maps.
Refer to student groups' notes on display.
Using the class's notes and discussion, have each group write a
definition of the word "map."
Share the definitions as a class.
Point out words or phrases that may be used in every
definition, such as "knowledge of the land" or "tool
for remembering locations of important resources."
Refer to the short discussion in the beginning of the lesson. Ask the class if their definitions could also apply to the
use of maps today. Help
students to find similarities in the use of maps today and uses Native
Wrap up by having students again answer the question, "Why
do we use maps?" Ask students to now refer to the day's lesson in