WASHINGTON (Nov. 15, 2012)—Students across the country can now depart on the ultimate international field trip — no passports needed — with the arrival of one of the world’s largest maps of Europe. Introduced today, National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Map of Europe, measuring 26 feet by 26 feet, enables students to embark on a mock tour of the world’s second-smallest continent while learning about its rich history and diverse geography. Designed for grades K-8, the map will be touring the United States and be available for loans of two weeks or longer to schools and event organizers through National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program, managed by National Geographic Live, the public programming division of the National Geographic Society.
The vibrant vinyl map will guide students through lessons and fun activities related to Europe’s climate, natural resources, famous landmarks, demographics and more. Teachers are provided with a trunk of accessories designed to enhance the lessons and encourage student engagement with content-rich games suitable for various age groups and class sizes. Among the activities are a geography-themed version of “Simon Says,” in which students utilize movement and knowledge to locate key places on the map; “All Aboard the Landmark Carousel,” which explores iconic European landmarks and human geography; and “The Grid Game,” which reviews the concept of identifying a location using latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates.
“The Europe map is an important and exciting addition to our ever-expanding roster of Giant Traveling Maps,” said Dan Beaupré, National Geographic’s director of education partnerships for National Geographic Live. “We believe this giant map will be an effective tool in enlivening the study of Europe’s geography and history for both students and teachers.”
National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program was introduced in 2006 with a map of Africa created after National Geographic magazine devoted its September 2005 issue entirely to that continent. Since then, the program has expanded to include maps of North America, South America, Asia, the Pacific Ocean and now Europe. It is estimated that more than 450,000 students will interact with one of these giant maps in the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to school venues, the maps appear at museums, festivals, fairs and corporate and educational conferences. The maps reinforce National Geographic’s commitment to increasing geographic literacy through teacher professional development, K-12 curricula, live events and academic competitions.
To learn more about the Giant Traveling Maps project, for borrowing information or to download map activities, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/giantmaps.
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. National Geographic reflects the world through its magazines, television programs, films, music and radio, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, live events, travel programs, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal, published in English and 36 local-language editions, is read by more than 60 million people each month. The National Geographic Channel reaches 440 million households in 37 languages in 171 countries. National Geographic Digital Media receives more than 20 million visitors a month. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geography literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.