Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Map Collections

[Detail] Mediolanensis dvcatvs from the atlas [1570].

Using Map Collections, students can build historical-thinking skills through the study of maps and their features.

1) Chronological Thinking

The city of Chicago, ca. 1892 (detail)

The city of Chicago, ca. 1892 (detail)

Using the Cities and Towns category, students can launch local history projects that develop chronological thinking skills. Search for maps of a city or state from different periods, then compile a list of changes over time as shown by the maps. For example, students might search on Chicago and find these three panoramic maps:

Using the mouth of the Chicago River as a reference point, students might answer questions such as:

  • Between 1868 and 1916, how did harbor buildings and shipping traffic change at the mouth of the Chicago River?
  • How do you think the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 might have affected the harbor?