Mapping the World With Art

by Ellen Johnston McHenry Author

Each Lesson contains a reading about geography, maps and explorers, followed by a step by step map drawing lesson and optional enrichment activities to choose from. A curriculum designed for ages 10 and up.

Additional Details

Resource Type
Book with DVD
Print Status
In Print
Suggested Grades
5th - 12th
Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop


  • 1 Reading: The Very Earliest Maps
  • 1 Map Drawings: Mesopotamia
  • 1 Activity Idea 1A: An edible Babylonian clay map
  • 1 Activity Idea 1B: A local map (of your room) on modern papyrus (paper)
  • 1 Activity Idea 1C: A Polynesian-style map of your room
  • 2 Reading: Strabo and Eratosthenes
  • 2 Map Drawings: The Nile River
  • 2 Activity Idea 2: Practice using a ruler, a compass and a protractor
  • 3 Reading: Lines on the Globe
  • 3 Map Drawings: Greece
  • 3 Activity Idea 3A: Quick Quiz: "Above or below the equator?"
  • 3 Activity Idea 3B:Longitude on an egg
  • 3 Activity Idea 3C: Draw your egg on paper
  • 3 Activity Idea 3D: Draw or paint a more accurate map of Greece
  • 4 Reading: Claudius Ptolemy
  • 4 Map Drawings: The Roman "Boot" (the Italian peninsula)
  • 4 Activity Idea 4A: Make a star chart decoration
  • 4 Activity Idea 4B: Make a navigational quadrant
  • 4 Activity Idea 4C: Using the Quadrant
  • 5 Reading: The Dark Ages of Western Mapmaking
  • 5A Map Drawings: The "Holy Land" of the Crusaders
  • 5B Map Drawings: The Arabian Peninsula
  • 5 Activity Idea 5A: Fill in the gaps on the map of the Mediterranean area
  • 5 Activity Idea 5B: Draw some weird people
  • 5 Activity Idea 5C: Draw a Medieval T-O map
  • 6 Reading: Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta
  • 6A Map Drawings: The Black Sea
  • 6B Map Drawings: The Caspian Sea
  • 6C Map Drawings: The Aral Sea
  • 6 Activity Idea 6A: Review Worksheet
  • 6 Activity Idea 6B: Watch a short documentary on the Aral Sea
  • 6 Activity Idea 6C: Watch a documentary about Ibn Battuta
  • 6 Activity Idea 6D: Watch a short documentary on Marco Polo
  • 6 Activity Idea 6E: Read about Rabban Bar Sauma
  • 7 Reading: Henry the Navigator
  • 7 Map Drawings: The Iberian Peninsula
  • 7 Activity Idea 7A: Watch some short video clips
  • 7 Activity Idea 7B: Navigation game using a portolan chart
  • 7 Activity Idea 7C: Look at some real portolan maps
  • 8 Reading: Printed Maps
  • 8A Map Drawings: France
  • 8B Map Drawings: Adding France to the Iberian Peninsula
  • 8 Activity Idea 8A: Watch videos demonstrating printing techniques
  • 8 Activity Idea 8B: Learn a little bit about Andorra (after you've completed Map Drawing 8B
  • 9 Reading: Spice Wars and Pirates
  • 9 Map Drawings: The Indian "Subcontinent"
  • 9 Activity Idea 9A: Make the Arbs' navigation device: the kamal
  • 9 Activity Idea 9B: Optional: a documentary about Barbary pirates
  • 9 Activity Idea 9C: Take a virtual visit to one or more of the Balearic islands
  • 9 Activity Idea 9D: Spiced meat recipes
  • 9 Activity Idea 9E: Map worksheet
  • 9 Activity Idea 9F: A board game: "Pirates of the Mediterranean"
  • 10 Reading: Christopher Columbus
  • 10 Map Drawings: The Greater Antilles
  • 10 Activity Idea 10A: Make a model of the Santa Maria
  • 10 Activity Idea 10D: Design a compass rose
  • 11 Reading: Columbus Sails Again
  • 11 Map Drawings: The Lesser Antilles
  • 11 Activity Idea 11A: Learn a little about the Arawak language
  • 11 Activity Idea 11B: Take a virtual vacation to the Bahamas
  • 11 Activity Idea 11C: Watch some ads for Lesser Antilles Islands
  • 11 Activity Idea 11D: Focus on Monserrat and its live volcano
  • 11 Activity Idea 11E: Make a painting showing islands as mountain tops
  • 11 Activity Idea 11F: Make an antique map of the Caribbean
  • 12 Reading: John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto)
  • 12A Map Drawings: Britain
  • 12B Map Drawings: Newfoundland
  • 12 Activity Idea 12A: Play the "Viking Voyages" game
  • 12 Activity Idea 12B: Draw your maps again, using an exact outline
  • 13 Reading: Vasco de Gama
  • 13 Map Drawings: Africa
  • 13 Activity Idea 13A: Worksheet showing Africa, Arabia and Europe
  • 13 Activity Idea 13B: Make Africa Cookies
  • 13 Activity Idea 13C: "Above or Below the Equator" Africa quiz game
  • 14 Reading: Columbus' Last Voyages, Amerigo Vespucci and Juan de la Cosa
  • 14 Map Drawings: Central America and the Caribbean
  • 14 Activity Idea 14A: Make a star clock
  • 14 Activity Idea 14B: Read about Columbus and the eclipse
  • 15 Reading: The New World Becomes "America"
  • 15 Map Drawings: South America
  • 15 Activity Idea 15A: Maps that show particular information
  • 15 Activity Idea 15B: Map Worksheet
  • 15 Activity Idea 15C: Learn about some South American Animals
  • 15 Activity Idea 15D: Make South America Cookies
  • 15 Activity Idea 15E: Videos about the Amazon River and rain forest
  • 16 Reading: Zheng He
  • 16 Map Drawings: The Malay Peninsula and southern Asia
  • 16 Activity Idea 16A: Tour an exquisite model of a Chinese treasure ship
  • 16 Activity Idea 16B: Watch a documentary about Zheng He and his ships
  • 16 Activity Idea 16C: Read about Chinese stone maps
  • 17 Reading: Portugal Finds Malacca
  • 17A Map Drawings: Sumatra, Java and other small islands
  • 17B Map Drawings: Borneo
  • 17C Map Drawings: Celebes
  • 17D Map Drawings: New Guinea
  • 17E Map Drawings: The Spice Islands
  • 17 Activity Idea 17A: Take a video tour of Malacca (Melaka)
  • 17 Activity Idea 17B: Play "The Spice Islands Game"
  • 18 Reading: Magellan and Elcano
  • 18A Map Drawings: The Strait of Magellan
  • 18B Map Drawings: The Philippines
  • 18 Activity Idea 18A: Sail with Magellan in this outstanding documentary
  • 18 Activity Idea 18B: Use your imagination to create visual mnemonics
  • 18 Activity 18C: Review worksheet
  • 18 Activity Idea 18D: More about the Spice Islands
  • 18 Activity Idea 18E: Read about prevailing winds
  • 19 Reading: A Forgotten Navigator (Verrazzano) and a Forgotten Map (Piri Ries Map)
  • 19 Map Drawings: The eastern coast of North America
  • 19 Activity Idea 19A: Read a letter Verrazzano wrote to King Francis I
  • 19 Activity Idea 19B: Tourism videos about the eastern seaboard
  • 20 Reading: Jacques Cartier
  • 20 Map Drawings: Gulf of St. Lawrence
  • 20 Activity Idea 20A: Learn about Anticosti Island
  • 21 Reading: Spain Explores the West Coast of America
  • 21 Map Drawings: The west coast of America
  • 21 Activity Idea 21A: An artistic review game (similar to "Pictionary")
  • 22 Reading: The Search for the Northeast Passage
  • 22 Map Drawings: Scandinavia
  • 22 Activity Idea 22A: Visit the Svalbard Islands
  • 23 Reading: Mercator
  • 23A Map Drawings: The Low Countries
  • 23B Map Drawings: Ireland
  • 23C Map Drawings: Iceland
  • 23 Activity Idea 23A: A supplemental map to use for the drawing lessons
  • 23 Activity Idea 23B: "Unfolding the Earth" video
  • 23 Activity Idea 23C: See how globes are made (a virtual factory tour)
  • 23 Activity Idea 23D: Learn more about map projections
  • 23 Activity Idea 23E: A globe-tossing game
  • 23 Activity Idea 23F: Europe Worksheet
  • 23 Activity Idea 23F: Make an octahedral globe
  • 24 Reading: Frobisher and the Discovery of Northern Canada
  • 24 Map Drawings: Northern Canada
  • 24 Activity Idea 24A: Watch a brief video clip about Henry Hudson
  • 24 Activity Idea 24B: Learn about John Davis' invention: the backstaff
  • 24 Activity Idea 24C: A visitor's guide to Baffin Island
  • 25 Reading: The Dutch in Japan
  • 25 Map Drawings: Japan
  • 25 Activity 25A: Paint a physical map of Japan
  • 25 Activity Idea 25B: A virtual visit to Hokkaido
  • 26 Reading: Janszoon and Tasman
  • 26A Map Drawings: Australia
  • 26B Map Drawings: New Zealand
  • 26 Activity Idea 26A: Read about a few mapmakers' art techniques
  • 26 Activity Idea 26B: A review worksheet for all of southeast Asia
  • 26 Activity Idea 26C: A video about fine map making in the 17th century
  • 26 Activity Idea 26D: Make your own antique map
  • 27 Reading: Vitus Bering and Alaska
  • 27A Map Drawings: Alaska
  • 27B Map Drawings: The Kamchatka peninsula and the Sea of Okhotsk
  • 27 Activity Idea 27A: A documentary about a proposed bridge across the Bering Strait
  • 27 Activity Idea 27B: A review worksheet of the western hemisphere
  • 27 Activity 27C: Western hemisphere extreme challenge worksheet
  • 28 Reading: Longitude
  • 28A Map Drawings: The rest of North America
  • 28B Map Drawings: The top of Asia
  • 28 Activity Idea 28A: A video about longitude
  • 28 Activity Idea 28B: Watch a video of H1 in motion
  • 28 Activity Idea 28C: Watch an animation of a "grasshopper escapement"
  • 28 Activity Idea 28D: Photoshop yourself onto the Prime Meridian
  • 28 Activity Idea 28E: Review worksheets
  • 29 Reading: Captain Cook
  • 29A Map Drawings: New Britain, New Ireland and Solomon Islands
  • 29B Map Drawings: Hawaii
  • 29C Map Drawings: Tahiti
  • 29D Map Drawings: Vanuatu
  • 29E Map Drawings: Fiji
  • 29F Map Drawings: New Caledonia
  • 29G Map Drawings: Pacific Ocean
  • 29 Activity Idea 29A: Watch a documentary on James Cook
  • 29 Activity Idea 29B: Watch a tourism video about Vanuatu
  • 29 Activity Idea 29C: Play an online quiz game about Pacific islands
  • 29 Activity Idea 29D: Captain Cook's Island Match Up Challenge
  • 30 Reading: The Discovery of Antarctica
  • 30 Map Drawings: Antarctica
  • 30 Activity Idea 30A: Download a game about Antarctica
  • 30 Activity Idea 30B: Play a review game: "Where Am I?"
  • 30 Activity Idea 30C: Do quiz 3A again: "Above or below the equator?"
  • 30 Activity Idea 30C: Make an antique map of the eastern hemisphere
  • 30 Activity Idea 30D: Explore some islands using Google Earth
  • 30 Activity Idea 30E: A fun game about famous places around the world

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