STEAM | 22 September 2015Using Maps to Learn: The 50 States Share article facebook twitter google pinterest When students hear the word ‘map,’ they might roll their eyes in anticipation of a boring geography lesson. But for those of us who have grown to love maps, a beautiful infographic map is so much more than roads and land and water. It’s true, though, that many maps look the same and contain the same information—bodies of water, major cities, perhaps a landmark here or there. Even the usefulness of understanding maps for planning a road trip is starting to become obsolete with the ease of GPS navigation systems in cars or on phones. However, the importance of maps still needs to be stressed to students. So much can be learned from them and so much fun can be had with them, especially with the new book The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps! Just by turning the first page, readers are invited on an adventure. Welcome explorers, investigators, and lovers of knowledge…to the 50 states! Are you ready to embark on a remarkable adventure, with more than 50 infographic maps as your guide? One could easily spend hours exploring those 50 infographic illustrated maps. They are a leap above the traditional maps to which we are all accustomed. To help make your exploration easier, the book starts with a diagram to show readers the different facets that are to come on each map. Excerpted from The 50 States Endless project ideas pop out simply by examining the diagram, but one such idea that could be adapted for a variety of ages and grades centers around the ‘Inspiring People’ graphic. Using maps to learn is a great cross-curricular lesson. Inspiring People Meet six inspiring people who have a connection with the state. Map of Maryland, excerpted from The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan Taking a closer look at the inspiring people of Maryland, it’s easy to see that the author tried to cover individuals from a wide-range of areas: literature, history, music, activism, and sports. Excerpted from The 50 States Laura Amy Schlitz – born 1955 Harriet Tubman – c.1820-1913 Frederick Douglass – 1818-1895 Philip Glass – born 1937 Thurgood Marshall – 1908-1993 Cal Ripken, Jr. – born 1960 Students could focus on one of these famous people to create a research project of their own (perhaps in the format of an infographic!) or they could extend the work started in the text by finding even more people from that state who could fall under the ‘Inspiring People’ heading. Those ideas are just the beginning of where the maps in The 50 States might lead readers. And teachers, if the infographics in the book inspire you to want to include more of them in your students’ learning, check out Teaching with Infographics: Places to Start. Author: Gabrielle Balkan Illustrated by: Sol Linero Format: Hardback, 112 Pages ISBN: 9781847807113 Publisher: Wide-Eyed Editions Buy from an Online Retailer In North America: In The UK: $30.00 / £20.00 Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.