Students view a nighttime satellite image to visualize the major cities and water bodies in the Great Lakes region. Students then create their own maps of the Great Lakes region incorporating the “TODALSS” map basics—title, orientation, date, author, legend/ key, source, and scale.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Minnesota | Unit 1: Minnesota’s Three Geographical Regions" where students will look at what makes Minnesota special. Students will study Minnesota’s unique geographical features and how they have changed over time.
220.127.116.11.1: Create and use various kinds of maps, including overlaying thematic maps, of places in the United States, and also Canada or Mexico; incorporate the “TODALS” map basics, as well as points, lines and colored areas to display spatial information.
18.104.22.168.2: Use photographs or satellite-produced images to interpret spatial information about the United States, and also Canada or Mexico.
22.214.171.124.1: Explain how geographic factors affect population distribution and the growth of cities in the United States and Canada.
126.96.36.199.1: Create and use various kinds of maps, including overlaying thematic maps, of places in Minnesota; incorporate the “TODALSS” map basics, as well as points, lines, and colored areas to display spatial information.
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show images to the class
- Image: Northeast America at Night Image
- Class set of blank outline map handout
- Class set of atlases/US maps or the Northeast United States Map
- Show students the satellite image of the Northeast Region of the United States taken at night. Help students orient themselves to the map by pointing out the Great Lakes. Work with them to find major cities such as Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. If needed, use the Northeast United States Map for reference.
- Ask students to describe how the amount of light shown can give us information about human settlement in the northeastern portion of our country. Why do population concentrations exist on the shores of the Great Lakes, on the Atlantic Seaboard, and along the Mississippi River?
[Proximity to ports, which means more goods/resources (especially water), fertile land]
- Distribute the blank outline map of the same area shown in the satellite image. Either pass out atlases and maps or project the Northeast United States Map. Instruct students to create a map with an appropriate Title, an indicator of Orientation, and Legend. Completed maps should have the following elements and locations neatly and accurately labeled:
- Northeast United States (title)
- St. Paul
- Mississippi River
- Lake Superior
- Lake Michigan
- Lake Huron