Analyzing Historical Maps in 7th Grade Social Studies

The 7th grade students are completing document based writing.  They are looking at historical maps and determining what these maps tell you about the map maker – his or her understanding of geography, what their culture was like and their purpose for creating it. Here is a sample of work from one of our students, Naija B.


“A map says to you. Read me carefully, follow me closely, doubt me not…I am the earth in the palm of your hand” Said once by Beryl Markham. A map leads you to your destination, your target. All your answers are on a map. Read closely, look closely, and follow closely. Your questions are solved. What guides you is not your mind but a map, There are some rough roads, you might hesitate to find where you want to go, You might be puzzled and confused. Do not use an app but instead use something that is a challenge because once you’ve accomplished this test you will feel like you’ve come to your home, your destination. These maps show who is the main source, the main center. A map will also show you directions, your geography, who is in it. In one of the pictures, there are traders, their kings, there are rulers, there are also many different surroundings in a map like land, the map can show you were sources of water are like an ocean, also can show you land or grass. There are many different traits, people, and other kinds of things. A map is everything, What you see, What you follow, and what you do.”