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Grade Level: 3-6

Time: 2 periods


Thematic maps


This lesson introduces students to Florida maps, the use of an Atlas, and the skills needed to understand thematic maps.


  • "Atlas of Florida" book and CD-ROM
  • Maps of Florida
  • Encyclopedia and other research materials
  • Blank maps of Florida - Outline - Outline w/County Lines


  • Be familiar with the kinds of information contained in an atlas
  • Identify themes that relate to Florida
  • Create maps that display themes that relate to Florida


  1. Introduce the topic. Discuss what an atlas is. Share the "Atlas of Florida" CD-ROM as a whole-class presentation. Share the book and other atlases with the students.
  2. Strategies:
    1. Discuss a variety of topics for thematic maps.
    2. Ask students to select 3 topics to illustrate on a map of Florida. Suggestions include: Important Cities, Rivers, Waterways and Lakes, Routes of Explorers, Railroads, Products, Animal Habitats, Natural Resources, Land Regions, State Parks, Counties, Your Choice (with teacher approval).
    3. Allow students time to research the information needed.
    4. Provide blank maps for students to label.
  3. Culminating Activities: Students share their maps with the rest of the class.


Students participate in discussions, complete maps with accurate information, and share their maps with the class.


  • The World in Spatial Terms
  • Other standards depending on the topics chosen by students

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