LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Map skills and higher-order thinking

holding a map

Map skills and higher-order thinking

By David Walbert

The sheer quantity of maps the internet makes available is great for educators, because we can easily find visual resources to accompany lessons in science and social studies. But it also presents us with a new challenge, because it’s now more important than ever that students develop map-reading skills. And those skills are more complicated than most educators realize.

This series of articles looks at map skills as a kind of visual literacy, considering what maps are, how they’re made, and the higher-order thinking skills students need to move from simply decoding maps to fully comprehending them.

(Photo credit: laurenmarek/Flickr.)

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