Celebrate Geo Awareness Week with Story Map Lessons & Activities!

ArcGIS Online Story Maps are a wonderful way to engage students in geospatial explorations. There are thousands of Story Maps in ArcGIS Online. The following collections include some of the best:

Maps We Love

Prize Winning Story Maps

Story Map Gallery, Curated by Esri: Story Map Gallery (classic view)

What makes a great K-12 Story Map?

•Engages from the beginning;
•Has an intriguing title that makes the student want to know more;
•Contains beautiful images or video;
•Has a narrative that is well-written and descriptive;
•Is simply told, yet has a powerful impact;
•Inspires action and further exploration.

Introduce the Geographic Inquiry Method to your students to guide the exploration of story maps and to develop meaningful GIS projects.Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 10.14.18 AM

  • Ask a geographic question based on something interesting or specific in the map.
  • Acquire additional data, as needed, to understand the story map.
  • Explore the contents of the story map as well as supporting maps and resources.
  • Analyze geographic information to answer your geographic question.
  • Act on knowledge by sharing what you learned to make the world a better place!

In preparing this Geography Week Awareness post I explored the above galleries to find free, publicly available without login, ready-to-use, Story Maps with value for K-12 education. Many activities and lessons could be used with each of these maps. in addition, these collections could be used to make your own list of favorites, and even better, inspire you to create your own!

1. “GIS Day” November 18, 2020
Included is a map of GIS Day events as well as links to Story Map collections, and resources for a GIS Day event. Do you have an event that could be mapped this way? gisday.com

2. “Navigating the Native American Book Collection”
November is Native American Heritage Month. This Story Map is a great reference for Native American projects and activities:

3. “The Hidden Costs of Suspensions: How can students learn if they’re not in school?” Common discipline practices might compromise a child’s education. How are schools in your area affected? http://nces.ed.gov/programs/maped/storymaps/oss/”>http://nces.ed.gov/programs/maped/storymaps/oss/”>http://nces.ed.gov/programs/maped/storymaps/oss/

4. “We are Living in the Age of Humans” What can present day humans do to ensure future generations a good quality of life on our planet? http://goo.gl/GMwBvu

5. “A Living Atlas of the World”
This Story Map explains how to use content from Esri’s Living Atlas as layers in your own maps.

6. “Living on the Edge”
What it’s like it living in the extremes of human habitation?
http://goo.gl/25kvfT Geography/ social studies lesson for all ages to show the resilience of human beings as they cope with the most extreme conditions on our planet. No wonder this map was a 1st prize winner in Esri’s 2015 Story Map contest!

7. “Election Shades”
Why did Democrats win the presidential election in 2012 when the election map looked mostly red?

8. “Presidential Election Results by Precinct”
Compare voting patterns with ethnicity and income. What trends do you see?

9. “Graduating to Better Health”
Here is yet another reason to graduate from high school!
Swipe map comparison of high school graduation rates to % of adults who report their health is fair or poor http://goo.gl/3vqp42

10. “How Many Languages do You Speak?”
Do you speak one, two, three, four or even 57 languages? Please put your dot on the map with the number of languages you speak by filling out the simple survey below.  Thank you!  https://bit.ly/32BFlqi

Finally, if you’d just like a quick 15 minute lesson, to introduce your students to the concepts of map-based geoinquiry, or to supplement your curriculum visit http://edcommunity.esri.com/Resources/Collections/geoinquiries. Thanks to the Esri Education Team for making these great resources freely available for teaching and learning.