|M...M...M ... (Maps, Maps Maps)
Topic: Topographic Maps
Objectives: Students will:
1. Construct a
topographic map of the Denali National Park.
2. Identify the
different elevations within Denali by color. (Choose
colors for different elevations on map. For example: Red
for up to 1000m, Blue for up to 5000m, etc.)
3. Create a picture
of Denali National Park using a topographic map.
Identify different features found in the park on the
4. Name some
historic landmarks of Denali National Park, compare
mountain peak heights and observe the geologic
structure of the park.
A number of maps
have been printed which show the different elevations
of Denali National Park. These maps are prepared for
hikers, mountain climbers and day tourists to Denali
National Park. The maps are available from a number
of sources and identify the topographical features of
Denali as well as the few man made structures inside
the park boundaries. One of the highlights of the
park is Wonder Lake. There are some special landmarks
in the park such as the Park Headquarters, Wonder
Lake, Mount McKinley (Denali), Eleson Visitor
Center, Kantishna (gold mining town), Teklanta
River, Toklat and Riley Creek. There is a campsite at
Wonder Lake where many visitors spend memorable
moments at this "best view site of Mt.
(Source of map information: United
States Geological Survey, Denali National Park and
Preserve, Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701, Map
Number 63148-F8-SI-250, Experimental Edition.
Source of official topographic terms: "Topographic Map Symbols" from
the U.S. Department of the Interior, US Geological
Survey at 1 800 USA-MAPS
Heacox, Kim, The Denali Road Guide, Lorraine Press,
Salt Lake City, Utah, 1986, page 2-3.)
M...M...M...(Maps, Maps, Maps)
For Activity: One 45 minute period to color
topographic layers, and record different elevations
and landmarks in student science journals.
Target Grade Level: Middle school (Extensions and
adjustments for elementary and high school found
Materials Needed: For each group of two students
(Work in teams of two.)
- Master topographic maps
- Color markers or school paint
- Student Science Journals
- Topographic Maps from school library Atlas, if
- Corrugated Cardboard from throw-away boxes,
approximately .5 to 1 cm thickness (thinner cardboard
is easier to cut, thicker cardboard has a more
dramatic effect. The box size from which the
cardboard is obtained should be approximate size 30cm
x 30 cm per team of two students.
- Scissors for each student
- Student science journals
- School Glue, one container per group of two students
- Colored markers, crayons or school paint
Master topographic map for construction (you may want
to provide multiple copies of the master topographic
map which can be downloaded from this web site to
each group of two students who may glue the master on
corrugated cardboard and then cut out the different
elevation layers from the model).
Click here for the Middle Level Topographic Map Master.
1. Distribute materials from Basic Materials list
2. Have students create a color key to represent
the different elevations and draw key on the map.
2. Have students color different elevations of
the Denali National Park and record historic
landmarks in student science journals.
Activity: For Three Dimensional Map
1. Distribute materials from Extended Activity
list to students.
2. Have students glue the master topographic maps
on the corrugated cardboard box pieces. Use one
box side as the base of the topographic map.
Also, have students determine what colors will be
used for each elevation layer on the topographic
map and create a key on the side of the map. (See
special extension for elementary and high school
students below for grade appropriate master maps)
3. Have students place the first elevation level
on the base of the topographic map and then
follow with each additional layer. School glue
should be used between each layer. When completed
properly, the map should resemble a very unique
stack of pancakes.
4. Students will have to draw and color some
features such as Wonder Lake and the Park
Headquarters on the topographic map. Record the
elevations and historic landmarks of Denali
National Park in student science journals.
5. Place finished maps in a special place while
the glue dries.
- Have each group of
two students present their topographic maps to the
class and discuss the construction and the landmarks
of Denali. Some students may wish to research Denali
on the World Wide Web for additional information
about the Denali National Park and publications such
as the National Geographic Magazine.
- Display the completed topographic maps in a special
well traveled place in school.
- Have students record in student science journals the
different elevations and environments in the park.
topographic map identified as Elementary Level
and use school clay for the different
elevations with the three dimensional model. Click here for the Elementary Level Topographic Map Master.
topographic map identified as Secondary Level and
use Plaster of Paris to construct for the three
dimensional model. Paint elevations and include
glaciers in the project. Also have students
research Denali Park for more detailed
information to be reflected in their topographic
map project. Click here for the Secondary Level Topographic Map Master.
Have students research mountain climbing on Mount
McKinley and the hazards present in this
Use officially recognized symbols for the
Construct the topographic map to scale.
Research the geology of Denali National
Research the kinds of wildlife found at different
elevations at Denali National Park.
Alaska National Wildlife Refuges: