WASHINGTON (Oct. 23, 2008)—A giant National Geographic map of North America, measuring 26 feet by 35 feet, is traveling to schools, museums and festivals across the country this year, giving student explorers a geographic experience like no other. The National Geographic Giant Traveling Map brings with it rich content and exciting activities to enliven the study of geography, making it a fun, interactive experience.
The North American map is the third in National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Map series. Africa began touring in 2006, followed by Asia in 2007. In the 2008-09 school year, more than 90,000 U.S. students will have the unique experience of walking on a National Geographic Giant Traveling Map.
The new giant map, designed for grades K-8, tours with a trunk full of accessories, including interactive games, geography adventures, atlases and books that teach students about the physical characteristics of North America as well as its rich history and varied cultures. The map is based on the National Geographic reference map series and on the North America map in the “National Geographic Atlas of the World, 8th Edition.”
Some of the activities included are “A Tale of Twenty Cities,” in which students explore the physical and economic reasons behind the locations of North American cities, and “Grocery Store Geography,” in which bean-bag-tossing skills are called upon to test students’ knowledge of where foods are produced in the continent.
“Experiencing a map of this size can really awaken a student to the power of maps and the limitless depth of geography,” said Dan Beaupré, National Geographic’s director of education partnerships. “Whether they are using the map to learn place names or to compare state-to-state CO2 emissions, students are physically involved in a hands- and feet-on way that makes geography into an event.”
To learn more about the Giant Traveling Map project, for borrowing information, or to download map activities, visit ngsednet.org/giantmaps.
National Geographic Giant Traveling Maps are produced by National Geographic Live! — the live events division of the National Geographic Society, responsible for multimedia presentations, performances and film screenings for the general public, school audiences and sponsoring organizations around the world. For more information, visit nglive.org.