What are the types of maps and what are their impact in the teaching of history and government?


3c v). Examine the types of maps and their impact in studying history and government.


A map refers to a representation of the surface of the earth or a section of it as if seen from above drawn on scale. It shows shapes of some physical features, shape, size and position of countries, direction and distance. The use of maps is an integral part of teaching history. They are available in form of wall maps, maps in historical atlas or in a textbook. Some maps deal with physical features while others show political and economic development of certain parts of the world.

Since history deals with human activities, the history teacher should use appropriate maps when teaching about a place where there is or has been human life, There are a number of maps, which could be useful in history teaching/learning.

These are:

  • Physical and climatic maps: they are useful when studying people’s relationship with their environment,
  • Outline maps; They show the coastlines, main rivers and possible mountain ranges of a country, Using such maps the learners can put in relevant historical information,
  • Historical maps: They show political boundaries of various countries, origin, growth and decline of kingdoms,
  • Distribution maps: They show population density, language groupings, distribution of resources and religious relationships.
  • Economic maps: They deal with distribution of resources.

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