A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
MAPS101 is a website that offers support materials in history, geography, civics, and earth science -- and let's not forget about the maps. It provides hundreds of maps kids can view, download, and print. In addition to reference atlases, maps in Spanish, antique city maps, and very simple maps for kids in kindergarten through third grade, you can check out geography news items, geography quizzes, and map-related crossword puzzles. You also can customize maps using the Map Sketch tool. With more than 4,500 items on the site, there's certainly no shortage of things to look at. Teachers can see resources that relate to the Common Core Standards and lesson plans. The site also offers news updates, games, and other activities on women's history, geography, and other topics. Annual subscriptions are $400 to $650 and provide a school with unlimited remote access (meaning kids can use the site from home as well).
Is it any good?
For teachers, there are lesson plans, a geography glossary, and other items; they also can view a list of activities that correspond with Common Core Standards. The site's page organization could benefit from some additional ways of dividing up content; you can search by location, keyword, or subject, but the long list of topics on many of the pages can make scanning for subjects or meandering difficult. Still, kids and adults should enjoy getting quick hits of information from the site's interactive maps and other resources; Maps101 presents an impressive amount of information in an interesting, engaging way.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why learning about history and geography can help society. What events, such as the civil rights movement, have helped people in the U.S. advance and make significant changes?
- Talk about how life differs in other countries and cultures. Ask your kids: Did anything on the site sound very different from day-to-day life in the U.S.?
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, using supporting evidence
Social Studies: geography, government, history
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, logic, part-whole relationships
Self-Direction: academic development, personal growth
- Genre: Educational
- Price: $199-$600
- Pricing structure: Free to Try
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.