Friday, July 13, 2007

How We did Overlay Maps for Geographical Features

I pulled from my geology studies background in college and from teaching third grade in public school to teach my kids with fun activities about mountain building and the massive erosion that created river beds, piles of fossils crushed into each other and covered with mud, huge canyons, etc.  After all of the hands-on activities (I'll try to remember to blog about them later.) the kids made an overlay map that I coordinated for them on the major geographical features of today that probably resulted from the Great Flood.

     We started with a base map of the world. This can be printed on paper or cardstock, although I didn't realize that and printed it on a transparency.  When I did that, I realized I needed a paper backing of some sort so it would stand out. 

Overlay Map Prep

Overlay Map for Deserts of the World
Then we got a fresh transparancy, hole punched that and added that to the 3 ring binder, on top of the base map.  The dc colored with a yellow sharpie, the deserts of the world. Then on a piece of yellow paper (lower left corner) they numbered and listed the major deserts.  Then they were numbered in black on the transparency (so they could all fit.)   The dc glued the yellow paper with the key to the desert information onto the transparency in a place where it would not be in the way of any information.

The next layer is for the mountains.  They used a brown piece of paper to list the major mountains of the world.  Then they used a brown sharpie to number these locations on the map. They could have even drawn some upside down v's for mountains.  I think they didnt' do that because there were already some on the base map that I used.

Overlay Map-Desserts and Mountains

The next layer is for the rivers.  They used a blue piece of paper, with a list of the major rivers.  Then with a blue sharpie, they drew in the rivers and numbered them.

Overlay Map Deserts, Mountains, Rivers

The final layer was for the Oceans.  For these they did not use any color coded paper.  You see a blue paper but that is the one for rivers showing from underneath.  For this layer they took a dark blue sharpie and wrote in the names of the oceans.

Completed Overlay Map

For our resource we used A Beka's 5th grade history text, Old World History and Geography.


  1. Dana @ School For UsApril 30, 2009 at 6:01 PM

    Thanks for the tutorial!!!


  2. I love your tutorial. I was just sitting here racking my brain about how to do the maps this year. I almost did the same thing you did and printed the base maps on transparencies. Thank goodness I read your blog first.