I'm a College Instructor

College Instructor

I'm a College Instructor

  • Advance students' comprehension of multiple subjects with "On the Move" lessons using National Geographic's Giant State Maps. GeoCivics was designed to prepare students to create congressional districts for their states. To lay the groundwork for this process, the Giant Map - or paper driving maps with stackable items - can engage students in topics such as the purposes of the census, distribution of resources, population change over time, language patterns of place names, and physical features. 
  • For the next phase of the project, provide an understanding of the Constitution, enumeration, the Electoral College, apportionment, and redistricting. Students in political science or U.S. history classes may spend several days devoted to these topics, extending to historical Supreme Court cases and current events. 
  • Incorporate online mapping activities into instruction. Start with Esri's GeoInquiries for government, mathematics, or world history. Explore Google Maps for Education. Investigate the mapping resources offered by National Geographic
  • The culmination of the project is an online map, divided into as many electoral districts as appropriate for the topic of the class. Following the creation of these maps, students can discuss their decisions about how they decided where to draw the lines and what the implications of their decisions might be for candidates and for the electorate. 
    • Students who are interested in delving deeper into the process of redistricting may explore one of several online mapping programs in order to divide their state into congressional or state senate and house districts. For the most up-to-date sites, visit Geospatial Technology in the Geography page. 
    • If you know of a state-based mapping resource, please share that information with the GeoCivics team so other may have access to those programs. In a geospatial technology class, students could create their own mapping applications at a finer scale than that of the county, using voting precincts or census blocks. Comparisons could be made with the state redistricting exercises to assess the positive and negative aspects of drawing district lines at varying scales.
  • Extend the lesson with assignments to investigate how the redistricting process is proceeding in the state. Who is responsible for choosing the cartographers who will draw district maps? What kinds of instructions do they receive? Explore the Utah case study that invited citizen input. Develop a project similar to Draw the Lines PA.
  • Open-ended assessment questions are available.
  • Offer to lead local community organizations through the GeoCivics education materials.Stephen O'Connell leads the Arkansas "On the Move" lesson for professional development.