Reviewing Geography Skills: Part 2 – Using Maps

Cartographer’s Challenge

You will design a very special physical map (G10) of a country you have created. Your country can be any shape or size you desire – be creative! The map you design should NOT be a political map (G9). Man-made structures such as buildings, railroads, or airports are NOT to be included on your map.

You should have a combination of exactly ten different landforms and water bodies (R46-47). These landforms and water bodies should be named after something related to the theme you have selected. Examples of a theme include characters from your favorite book or movie, athletes from a particular sport, or names of different insects. Select a theme that you find interesting. The possibilities are endless. For example:  If you decide that one of your country’s landforms is a mountain range and your theme is Bible heroes, you could label the mountain range The Mountains of Moses.

Your map should also include a compass rose (G6), map scale (G7), map key (G8), and a title (the name of your country). Your map key should have six natural resources that are also found in the country you have created. Do NOT put landforms or water bodies in your map key. Remember, the landforms and water bodies are labeled on the map. The natural resources are NOT labeled on your country because the map key provides the information needed to identify what the resource is.

Natural resources are any property of the physical environment and can be classified as renewable or non-renewable. Mining, petroleum extraction, fishing, hunting, and forestry are generally considered natural resource industries. Agriculture (farming) generally is NOT.

You can go to for a list of natural resources found throughout the world. You should know any resource and how it is used if it is on your map.

Below is how your map will be graded. You have two more days to complete this project. If you have questions while working at home, you may e-mail me at

Presentation (This includes coloring which should only be done with colored pencils. Your entire map should be colored.): 5 points
English: 5 points
10 Landforms and Water Bodies: 10 points                                                                      
Theme: 10 points
Natural Resources in the Map Key: 6 points
Natural Resources in your Country: 6 points 
Map Key: 2 points
Map Scale: 2 points                                                                                                             
Compass Rose: 2 points                                                            
Title: 2 points
Total: 50 points

How Are My Grades Calculated?

Grades: The nine weeks grade a student earns will consist of an attainment grade and a behaviors grade. The attainment grade is 75% of the final grade and includes assessment of specific subject related skills and content (80%), quality of English grammar used (10%), and quality of presentation (10%). Behaviors grades are 25% of the final grade and include elements of the following as relevant to the task:  participation, conduct, organization, working with others, completion of work and carrying out directions.

A variety of assignments will be given to assess the students. Some of the assignments include bookwork, creative writing, individual or group presentations, internet research, maps, projects, quizzes, tests, workbook pages, and worksheets.

On average, the available points are distributed as follows:
Class/Homework: 5-30 points; Quizzes: 30 points; Projects: 50 points; Tests: 100 points

Grades will be calculated by straight percentages; that is all earned points are added up and divided by all possible points available at the end of each quarter.