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Lessons and Materials

Below are helpful materials and lesson plans to accompany a Giant Map of Colorado.


These materials are downloadable and helpful for nearly all Colorado Giant Map activities. 

Make your own lesson plan or use one of the lessons below for the Colorado Giant Map.

Other materials to help plan and execute your Giant Map lessons. 

General Resources

See below lesson plans for additional materials adaptable for your lessons!

Colorado Giant Map Lesson Plans

Where is My Town?

Recommended Grade(s): 2nd & up

Students will learn about basic cartographic concepts and decisions made by cartographers while practicing using grids and latitude and longitude lines.

Download Intro to Cartography Lesson

Discovering Colorado Ecosystems

Recommended Grade(s): 2nd

Students will locate Colorado habitats on the map and explain why plants grow and animals live in different parts of the state.

Download Colorado Ecosystems Lesson

Additional Materials: Colorado Ecosystems Cards/Descriptions

Reading Maps Together

Recommended Grade(s): 3rd

Students will interpret symbols and visual cues to read a globe, a hand-held map of the United States, and a giant floor map of Colorado.

Download Reading Maps Lesson

Colorado as Headwaters – Exploring Our Rivers

Recommended Grade(s): 3rd – 5th

Students will be able to identify and learn about a river and its watershed and determine the direction of its flow from higher to lower elevation.

Download Colorado Headwaters Lesson

Additional Materials: Headwaters River Cards

All Aboard! Racing to Build a Railroad Across Colorado

Recommended Grade(s): 3rd – 5th

Students work cooperatively to plan a route for a railroad across Colorado and discover the constraints on the development of railroads in Colorado.

Download Colorado Railroads Lesson

Additional Materials: Narrow gauge railroad tracks, Standard gauge railroad tracks, Railroad map, Topographic map

Grid Coordinate Connect Four

Recommended Grade(s): 4th

In teams, students will play "Connect Four," attempting to be the first team to place four markers along grid coordinates in a row by answering correct trivia questions on geography, economics, history, and civics.

Download Connect Four Lesson

Additional Materials: Connect Four Instructions

Place Names, Keys to the Past

Recommended Grade(s): 4th

Students will define boundaries of Spanish Territory as they once existed in Colorado, identifying the natural features creating boundaries.

Download Place Names Lesson

I Can See Clearly, Now! - The Continental Divide & Colorado’s Watersheds

Recommended Grade(s): 4th

Students will identify the Continental Divide and major Colorado rivers, determining rivers that flow east and west of the Divide for an understanding of watersheds.

Download Colorado Watershed Lesson

Elevate Your State: Study of Colorado’s Elevations

Recommended Grade(s): 4th & up

Students will understand elevation and scale, creating towers representing elevation on the Giant Map, discussing  how elevation might affect humans.

Download Colorado Elevations Lesson

Additional Materials: Places, Location cards, Block legends

Coloradans on the Move

Recommended Grade(s): 4th & up

Students will discover population patterns in Colorado over time and speculate about why people choose to live in certain areas.

Download Coloradans on the Move Lesson

Big Map Lesson Plans Using Census

Recommended Grade(s): k- 4th

Lessons to help students learn about the 2020 Census in conjunction with use of the Giant Map.

Download Link to Lesson Plans 

Do you have a Colorado Giant Map lesson to share?

Contact Kelly Langley Cook to post
your lesson for other Colorado teachers.