A Map Projection Game, Video, and Lesson Plans

Last week I
shared a new Crash Course about geography. One of the first videos in that course tackles the question “what is a map?” Yesterday, through the
Maps Mania blog, I learned about a fun quiz game that could be a good activity for students to complete after watching
What is a Map? and before watching
Can You Make an Accurate Map? That fun quiz game is called
The Mind-Blowing Map Quiz and is hosted by BBC Bitesize. 

The Mind-Blowing Map Quiz is designed to help students understand how Mercator projection maps distort our view of the world. It does this by asking relational questions like “how much bigger is Australia than Alaska?” and “how close are Russia and the United States?” A few fun facts are thrown into the explanations of each answer. 

Applications for Education
Can You Make an Accurate Map? is a good video to show after students have played The Mind-Blowing Map Quiz. The video provides a concise explanation of why Mercator projection maps don’t accurately represent the size of things near the poles but are none-the-less used in many applications.

For more ideas for lessons about map projections take a look at National Geographic’s hands-on lesson plan for teaching map projections or this lesson from Leventhal Map (hosted by Boston Public Library) that incorporates the use of Google Earth.