I’ve been working through a cartography class with my son in his 7th-grade year and recording what has worked well and what didn’t. Here are my best tips and tricks for succeeding with cartography. Below I also include some extra resources you might find helpful!
Drawing in Challenge: How to Avoid Tears and Enjoy Learning– The 5 main challenges most students face with trying to draw maps in Cartography and how to address them. (References to Classical Conversations do not constitute or imply endorsement by the company.)
5 Practical Tools for Drawing Maps– The 5 ways you can approach the art and science of drawing maps.
How to Set up a Community Map Challenge- I did this when I directed a Classical Conversations Foundations (K-6th grade) community and we all traced maps all week long. It was GREAT preparation for Cartography!
How to Schedule a Year of Cartography– Ideas for what to draw each day and a schedule for how to divide the world up into a 30-week or 36-week school year.
Other Cartography Resources
- Anyone Can Draw the World Video Course– Step-by-step video and PDF instructions on how to draw each region of the world and then how to combine them all and draw one world map
- Anyone Can Draw the World PDF Package– Step-by-step PDF instructions on how to draw each region of the world and then how to combine them all and draw one world map
- Maps from the Anyone Can Draw the World PDF Package– A combination of labeled and unlabeled maps, great for tracing, labeling, or referencing while drawing
- University of Texas Libraries Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection has thousands of maps online that you can view or download. It also has links to other sites with interesting cartography resources like distance calculators, glossaries, tide predictions, and more!
- Sheppard Software has online fun games and quizzes.
- 50 Map Projections Types: A Visual Reference Guide from GIS Geography
- Exploring the World Through Cartography is an atlas-type book created by Classical Conversations to be read along with the 7th grade (Challenge A) year. The book includes many pictures of beautiful antique maps and photos of featured locations. The text addresses cultural, geographical, and historical ideas.
- Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall is a narrative non-fiction book about how elements of geography have played critical roles in both historical and current events. Our family really enjoyed listening to the audiobook while we draw maps!
Send me your questions on Facebook or via email: julie (at) RidgeLightRanch.com
What kind of paper do you use for drawing maps?
We used a mix of blank printer paper (which we 3-hole punched) and loose-leaf graph paper. (FiveStar is my favorite brand of graph paper BY FAR!) We put everything in a 3 ring binder to keep it organized.
What’s been your experience with map-making? Got any questions or tips you want to share? Let me know on Facebook or via email: julie (at) RidgeLightRanch.com