This lesson uses maps made during the Middle Ages and Renaissance to illustrate the beliefs of Europeans about who and what resided in the distant parts of the earth. Older students will learn about the Renaissance Europe’s preoccupation with classical mythology.

  • Grade Levels: 3-12
  • Time Allotment: 45 to 55 minutes for classroom visits; 75-90 minutes for field trips
  • ME Social Studies Standards
    • C1: Economic Knowledge, Concepts, Themes, and Patterns
    • D1: Geographic Knowledge, Concepts, Themes, and Patterns


Intended to be completed in the classroom before the scheduled field trip or class visit, the pre-teaching activity will give students some familiarity with the terms, ideas, and visuals, that they will see during the actual visit.

Guided Inquiry Exercise

During this portion of the visit, students will be asked to look closely at twelve to twenty maps that fit within the curriculum theme. Each student will need to find:

  1. something they recognize from previous class lessons or from the pre-teaching activity
  2. something they find interesting and want to point out to their classmates
  3. something they would like to know more about

Examples of Maps Used: 
(sets of maps will vary)


OML visit themes have recommended hands-on activities or group-games that can be done in conjunction with the Guided Inquiry exercise.


Schedule a Field Trip or Class Visit