Grim Side of Thematic Mapping

Grim Side of Thematic Mapping

Grade Levels: 9-12

Time Allotment: 1.5 to 2 hours

Maine Social Studies Standards: C1, D1, E1

This lesson examines various kinds of thematic maps from the 19th century. It begins with an example of a Sanborn fire insurance maps, followed by a series of war maps. This first part of the lesson asks several questions: Why were these maps produced? How have they been used? What conditions in the 19th century manufactured demand for these maps? In the second part of the presentation, students are given a map of a fictional town plagued by an epidemic. By mapping the cases on a provided map, they must determine how the disease is being spread. After the activity, the presentation continues with a discussion of disease mapping since John Snow's famous 1854 "cholera map" which proved that Cholera is spread through contaminated water and not through "miasmas" as previously thought.

Click on the links below to download resources:

Download Item Files

This folder contains images of all items used in this lesson. To view the available items in zoomify, click on the links below:

Civil War Newspaper Map  World War 2 Map

DownloadPresentation Files

This folder contains a powerpoint (.ppt) file of the completed presentation, as well as a suggested script in both .pdf and .doc formats.

DownloadActivity Files

This folder contains a .pdf file of the activity accompanying this lesson and any necessary documents and answer keys.

Suggested Reading

Koch, Tom. Disease Maps: Epidemics on the Ground. 2011.