Education, Geography, K-12, Social Studies, Teaching Tools, Websites

National Geographic MapMaker Kit

Click here to visit the National Geographic Mapmaker Kit page.
Click here to visit the National Geographic Mapmaker Kit page.

You know how it goes.  You’re in the 3rd hour of “training your brain” by playing 2048 on your iPhone in the hopes of beating your 11-year-old daughter’s high score, and you suddenly think, “This is a waste of time.  Instead, I should make a wall-size map of The World painstakingly pieced together by my very own hands out of 136 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 paper so my students can have a more global view.”

And so begins a series of follies that can only be truly appreciated by those who voluntarily undertake ridiculously large projects with absolutely no clear idea of the steps needed to achieve them.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, I not only erroneously thought I would make this map within the week, but that my 1st graders would help me piece it together and that we would mark the locations of all of our Twitter friends and country research before the end of the year.  Oh, and that we would “augment” the project using Aurasma, so we  could scan the map with an iPad and see videos about each country.

Yes, I’m that naïve.

The good news is that I completed the map – after approximately 3 months.  The bad news is that I finished it a week after I taught my last class with my GT 1st graders.  The good news is that most of them will come back next year as GT 2nd graders.  The bad news is that I have no place to store the map – and we are supposed to clear off our walls before we leave for the summer.

I don’t suppose I really have to leave for the summer…

Anyway, perhaps you would like to try this idea yourself just to prove how inept I am at taping together 136 pieces of paper that were not cut as precisely as they should have been.  If so, then I would highly recommend that you watch the tutorial from National Geographic on using its MapMaker Kit resources.  Some things that are not mentioned in the tutorial are: you might want to print a double-sided copy of each page so you can tape it from the back, you might want to laminate all of the pages before you tape them together (I initially thought I would tape a couple of rows and laminate them, but they did not lay flat enough), and that you should ask some highly energetic and/or amazingly-accurate-at-cutting parent volunteers to do this for you so you are not tempted to stomp all over the continents in frustration when your map refuses to line up.

Or, you could start small, like printing the 1 pager map of the World instead of 136.

But, where’s the fun in that?

By the way, does anyone see the huge typo on this map?  Be the first to comment below if you think you know what it is.  There is no prize – just the joy of knowing that you found it.  And I would like to point out that this was not my mistake.  I put all of the pieces together exactly as they printed from the site. I’m not pointing fingers or anything…

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2 thoughts on “National Geographic MapMaker Kit”

  1. I don’t think it’s a typo.
    It’s just an other proof that the icecaps melt, so the W, O, and R have already disappeared 😉
    It could of course also be that the Antarctic snowplows weren’t finished yet, so only had the L and D free; but as Antarctica is a desert (and certainly inland) that explanation seems less likely.

    I think you could replace it with the same page of the World Physical MapMaker Kit. It doesn’t have the typo, and it seems the same scale.

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