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How can you use a kids' map of the United States to teach history?

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Quick Answer

Kids' maps are useful in making historical concepts concrete for children, such as Westward Expansion or the locations of the original 13 states. With maps, children can better situate historical details with physical locations, such as the difficulties faced by travelers on the Oregon Trail.

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Full Answer

Teachers can incorporate maps into history lessons in a variety of ways. When teaching about important moments in U.S. history, such as the Revolutionary War, the Civil War or Westward Expansion, using maps helps students understand where and how people lived and the challenges they faced in their daily lives.

Maps can be integrated with other materials, such as historical maps of the original states and their boundaries, the diaries of travelers along the Oregon Trail or key historical locations such as Gettysburg, to give children concrete material in which to situate historical events. For example, pairing maps with 3D models of mountain passes helps children imagine the difficulties faced by early settlers in American history.

Children can use printouts of maps to test their knowledge of important historical locations. For example, when learning about the Revolutionary War, children can identify an important area such as Boston or Philadelphia on a map and discuss the historical events that occurred there.

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