School Visits

Information on Map Center programs for K-12 classes

We offer in-person on-site and outreach programming. If you are interested in a field trip to the Map Center or having an educator visit your classroom, please fill out the reservation form below and we will get back to you. We have missed you!

The Leventhal Map & Education Center offers a menu of pre-designed programs for field trips to our Learning Center, virtual class visits, or in-person outreach to classrooms. Using maps from our collection, students practice using cartographic tools to read maps and think about what maps can and can’t tell us about our relationships to places in the past and present. Programs related to our current exhibition are also available. Explore our program topics below. If you don’t see quite what you’re looking for, we are happy to work with you to create programming that works with your curriculum.

Pre-Designed K-12 Programming

What Is A Map?

What Is A Map?

Grades 1–3
Students practice how to interpret maps by reading the stories being told by mapmakers. Students create a map of their own, receive a short interactive lesson about maps and mapping, and work in small groups to answer questions about some of the maps in our collection.
People Shape the Earth/The Earth Shapes People

People Shape the Earth/The Earth Shapes People

Grades 2-5
After an introductory lesson on maps and mapping, students work together to consider the ways we shape the environment and the ways it shapes us by examining regional maps of the United States.
Mapping the American Revolution

Mapping the American Revolution

Grades 3-12
Students learn to interpret the stories of the American Revolution as told through maps. In small groups, they examine period maps of Boston and New England to uncover information about the historical actors in the Revolution, the significance of geography, and the motives of the mapmakers.
Mapping America

Mapping America

Grades 3-8
Students learn the basics of mapmaking and the many ways maps tell stories before breaking into small groups to explore a range of maps of the United States, from some of the oldest in our collection to the present. This lesson can emphasize different themes: 1) Students interact with regional maps that tell stories about the expansion of the United States across the continent or that illustrate regional characteristics, or 2) Students explore different thematic maps of the United States to consider a mapmaker’s purpose.
Native People and Settler Colonialism/A Story of Land and Maps

Native People and Settler Colonialism/A Story of Land and Maps

Grades 4-12
Students learn the basics of mapmaking and explore maps made by Indigenous and Euro-American cartographers to uncover Native presence and the dispossession of Native lands.
Boston Over Time

Boston Over Time

Grades 5-12
In this program, students use maps to discover how Boston’s landscape has been transformed over the course of its history. In a hands-on activity, students will examine maps spanning the past four hundred years to better understand how Boston has changed in tandem with its population and industry.
World Maps Over Time

World Maps Over Time

Grades 6-8
Students practice being critical map readers using a range of world maps, from the oldest in our collection to the present. After an interactive lesson on map projections, students work in small groups to analyze what mapmakers include on their maps and why.
Civics Topics

Civics Topics

Grade 8
We will work with you to support your Civics curriculum with map-based lessons on topics, from red-lining to immigration to Boston-based neighborhood advocacy.
Kids Count!: Mapping Children in Boston

Kids Count!: Mapping Children in Boston

Grades 3-8
Students explore different ways cartographers have represented the presence of children in Boston for different purposes. Along the way they learn about geospatial data and GIS (geographic information systems), the power of symbology, and the importance of considering a mapmaker’s purpose. They also try their hand at geospatial data visualization.

Booking a Program

To book a program, fill out the reservation form. Someone from the K-12 education department will contact you to finalize your reservation. Note: Filling out the form is not a confirmation of your reservation.

Cost

Please see our table of education program fees for information on costs. We strive to make our programs and resources available to all institutions without cost presenting a barrier.

Notes on Field Trips to the Map Center

Programs are 75 – 90 minutes long. Longer sessions allow for more discussion and inquiry. We cannot accommodate groups larger than 40 at a time. As groups larger than 20 may require that we reserve extra space, please be as specific as possible when completing our reservation form.

Please note that there is no designated lunch area for classes in the Boston Public Library.

Notes on Outreach Programs

Programs are 60 - 90 minutes long and are intended for individual classrooms of 30 or fewer students. Longer sessions allow for more discussion and inquiry. We can accommodate larger groups over multiple program sessions.

Classrooms should have a computer and a digital projector or smartboard and space for students to work in small groups of 4 to 5 students for hands-on map inquiry exercises. We can provide a laptop and projector if necessary.