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Gear up for GIS and Projects in the Classroom this Fall!

07-01-2023 08:21 AM
Esri Regular Contributor
3 0 725

To enhance your classroom use of maps, GIS, and StoryMaps for project-based learning, here are five things you can do this summer.

Deepen Understanding of Maps and GIS Concepts: Take time to deepen your understanding of maps and geographic information systems (GIS) concepts. Explore online resources, attend the Esri Education Summit or other workshops, and engage in self-paced learning modules to build your knowledge. This will help you better understand the underlying principles and techniques behind map-based analysis and storytelling.  See:

Familiarize yourself with GIS software, such as ArcGIS, Survey123, or Dashboards , depending on the tools available to you. Explore the functionalities and capabilities of these tools, and learn how to use them for data visualization, analysis, and creating interactive maps. Esri offer free trials, tutorials, and learning resources to get you started. See

Master Storytelling with StoryMaps: StoryMaps are powerful tools for engaging students in project-based learning. Dive deep into the art of storytelling and learn how to effectively communicate narratives using StoryMaps. Explore different storytelling techniques, learn about visual design principles, and practice creating compelling narratives that incorporate maps, multimedia content, and interactive elements. See:

Gather Relevant Data and Resources: Identify potential project ideas and gather relevant data and resources during the summer break. Look for publicly available datasets, educational resources, and materials related to your desired project topics. Websites like, Natural Earth, or local government portals often provide access to geospatial datasets that can be used for various project-based learning activities.

Design Project-Based Learning Units: Devote time to designing project-based learning units that integrate maps, GIS, and StoryMaps into your curriculum. Identify learning objectives, define project scopes, and outline assessment methods. Consider how students can use maps and GIS to investigate real-world issues, solve problems, and communicate their findings effectively using StoryMaps. Align your projects with relevant standards and curricular requirements.  See

By investing time in these activities, teachers can greatly enhance their classroom use of maps, GIS, and StoryMaps for project-based learning. This preparation will ensure a more engaging and immersive educational experience for students, promoting critical thinking, spatial analysis, and effective communication skills.

And don’t forget about the Esri high school and middle school mapping competition.  It can be an excellent culminating activity to PBL-GIS units for students.  See: