School Improvement in Maryland
MAP ANALYSIS
    Introduction
    Template
    Lesson Plan
    Sample Student Response
Introduction
    This critical thinking skill is included to reinforce basic map reading skills. Have students practice frequently with the template using various types of maps found in their government textbooks.

    The lesson plan and sample student response sheet were developed to match:

    Government Core Learning Goal Indicator 3.1.3

    Students will analyze the roles and relationships of regions on the formation and implementation of government policy.

    Skills for Success Indicator 3.2.1

    Students will gather, manage, and convey information using a variety of skills, resources, and technologies.

    Below is the population distribution map that students will use in this lesson. Make an overhead transparency or individual student copies.

map Template
    Explanation

    There are many different types of maps:

    • Political maps - show the location/boundaries of governmental units.
    • Physical maps - show landforms and other important physical features of the earth.
    • Population maps - show where people live and how many live in each area.
    • Economic maps - show products or economic activities.
    • Climate maps - show average temperature and rainfall.
       
    Maps may contain a variety of elements such as:
    • Title, compass rose, date, legend/key symbols, map scale, source
       
    Model for Analysis

      What type of map is this?
       
       
      What does the title mean?
       
       
      Explain which map elements are most important for understanding this map. Why?
       
       
      What conclusions can you make about the information on this map?
       
       
      How were you able to interpret the map?
       
       
Lesson Plan
    Government Core Learning Goal Indicator 3.1.3

      Students will analyze the roles and relationships of regions on the formation and implementation of government policy.
       
    Skills for Success Indicator 3.2.1

      Students will gather, manage, and convey information using a variety of skills, resources, and technologies.

    Lesson Objective: Students will be able to:

    • Analyze a population distribution map of the U.S.
    • Identify problems and possible solutions to urban population growth.
    • Show how local problems affect federal government policies.
       

    Preparation/Motivation

    As a class, construct a t-chart listing the positive and negative aspects of population growth in an area. Discuss each item. Have students make predictions about which areas of the U.S. are the most populated and why.

    Lesson Procedures

    1. Give students copies of the Population Map and have them complete the Map Analysis Skill Sheet to familiarize students with current U.S. population trends. Review student responses.
    2. Have students identify the five most populated cities in the U.S. (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia). Have students place the five cities on their population map.
    3. Ask students to list problems that have arisen due to the population growth in U.S. cities. (air/water pollution, housing discrimination/shortages, drug abuse, infrastructure decline, traffic problems)
    4. Organize students into groups and assign each group an urban problem. Provide time for each group to create a list of possible solutions. Then have each group research federal legislation that addressed these problems (Urban Renewal Program; Open Housing Act 1958; Low Interest Loans; Clean Air Act; Anti-Drug Legislation; Infrastructure loans). Have students share their findings with the class.
       
    Summary/Assessment

    Have students write a letter to the Governor describing what type of federal aid Maryland needs to solve its urban problems. The letter should include reasons why this aid to urban areas would benefit all Maryland citizens.
     

Sample Student Response
    Core Learning Goal Indicator 3.1.3

      Students will analyze the roles and relationships of regions on the formation and implementation of government policy.

      Model for Interpretation

      map 
      What type of map is this?

        a population map
         
      What does the title mean?
        that the population is spread out throughout the U.S.
         
      Explain which map element is most important for understanding this map. Why?
        the key because it shows which areas have the most people
         
      What conclusions can you make about the information on this map?
        most of the population in the U.S. is located in the northeastern region of the country; few people live in the northwest-central area; many people live along the coasts
         
      How were you able to interpret the map?
        I read the title and key, then studied the map to figure out where most people lived

     
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