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Have you ever wondered what kind of map projection you would need in case of a giant killer spider outbreak? Or ever weighed the pros and cons of various map projections as you contemplated establishing an alien colony on earth?
Wonder no more! This fun and practical worksheet asks students to weigh the pros and cons of the four major map projections (Meractor, Robinson, Interrupted / Gore, and Polar / Azimuthal) in light of the needs of four wacky or fun jobs.
Watch and smile as your students internalize the pros and cons of each projection and learn that different projects are best suited for different tasks even as they say things like (and these are real quotes) "Oh, come on! An alien would NEVER use a polar map!" and "No! Use this one! It's a GIANT killer spider outbreak --THINK!"
Suggested correct answers are included in the instructions but it is generally best to accept any answer that reflects genuine engagement and is supported by evidence.
From the instructions.
This exercise is best used as a culminating in-class exercise after teaching the main map projections (Meractor, Polar, Robinson, Gore / Interrupted). Some teachers use this exercise as an exit ticket emphasizing speed rather than deep thought and reflection.
The first goal of the exercise is to help students internalize the four map projections, what they look like, and what they are used for.
The second goal is to emphasize to students that:
Classroom experience suggests that the best way to do this exercise is in the classroom and in groups of two to three. After teaching the projections ask the students to consider what each profession will need from their map. Then, ask students to rank the four projections from most useful to least useful for that profession. The “for that profession” component is essential for grasping the fact that different projections exist because different needs exist.
Suggested answers are below; but, many teachers focus on whether the answer is supported with good thinking rather than whether it is the “right answer.”
If used as an in-class exercise, it is often useful to review answers as a class when students have completed the exercise.
Estimated time does not include the time to teach the two branches and five themes.