Published: May 8, 2017
A collage of the maps the fourth graders drew during their class.

Do you want CU Map Librarians to teach your K-12 students class about Maps and geography? The fourth grade class of Lafayette Elementary did. On April 13, Maps Librarians Ilene Raynes and Naomi Heiser went down to the school to give the class a hands-on lesson using historical maps.

The kids had the opportunity to view many different types of maps, including a map of the Colorado Territory from 1862, a map showing railroad routes through Colorado and Utah from 1890 and other maps that were over 100 years old. The students recognized important places on the maps that they were studying in the Colorado history lessons, including Pike’s Peak, the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail and the South Platte River.

The students were studying the time in Colorado’s history when settlers were moving west and discussed how they would choose their routes based on resources, local terrain, and dangers like native wildlife and peoples.

The fourth graders also got to create maps of their own, using symbols they learned about from the maps they’d seen. They created maps of imaginary lands they would like to visit, or, more practically, maps of places they were studying.

The Jerry Crail Earth Sciences & Map Library is happy to host a K-12 class in the library and they are happy to come to your local classroom and to give a lesson. Contact us for more information about what we can teach or to check our availability for offering classes.