Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Click to open and customize your own copy of the Map Projections Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Map Projections, and supports the standard of analyzing the purpose of map representations. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display a globe and a map. Ask students: When might you use a map? A globe? What’s the difference?  

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description on the Map Projections topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Quirky Stuff” or “Myths.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY

Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a commercial for one type of map projection that advertises its advantages and uses. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map that compares and contrasts different types of map projections. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a sorting game where players determine what kind of map projection different details describe. 

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS 

Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about map projections.  Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • Why are different kinds of map projections necessary? 
  • What effect does the cartographer’s point-of-view have on how we see the globe?

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Map Projections Challenge

Step 5:  Extend Learning

Continue exploring geography with BrainPOP’s Map Skills, Latitude and Longitude, and Geography Themes topics.  

 

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