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Roots and Shoots


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Geography

Resource Type

  • Projects

Regional Focus




Digital Mapping: Google My Maps

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  • In this collaborative digital mapping project, students will work together to observe their community, ask and answer guiding questions, make a digital map of their community, and potentially design an environmental campaign based on their map. 
  • The project guide provides teachers with detailed information for completing this multi-session group project. 
Teaching Tips


  • The guide includes instructions for extending the project into a grassroots environmental campaign.
  • The resource is rich with compelling and clarifying graphics, step-by-step directions, and great ideas. 
  • Teachers can find a helpful example of an environmental campaign on page 11 of the guide.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students will need access to a Google account to use the mapping software. The guide provides tips for what to do if students do not have their own Google accounts.
  • Physical materials for this project include markers or crayons, large sheets of white paper, glue or tape, maps, and a camera or printed pictures of the mapped area. 


  • This could be a meaningful cross-curricular earth science and social studies project. Students could complete portions of the project in each class and then discuss how the fields of social studies and science are related. 
  • Due to the length of the project, consider breaking students into groups. Groups can work on maps of the same area or they can work on different sections of their community. 
  • As an extension, consider taking the next steps (outlined in step 11) to begin an environmental campaign. 
  • Other related resources include this interactive mapping tool from the EPA, this map that shows cities that are working to eliminate parking mandates, and this interactive data resource from NASA. 
Scientist Notes
This resource is suitable for students to learn the basics of mapping using the Google mapping tools. Students will observe changes in their environment and create real-life projects to address key environmental and social issues in their community. This is highly recommended for the classroom.
  • Science and Engineering
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • Geography 1 (F1): Students understand the geography of the community, Maine, the United States, and various regions of the world, and geographic influences on life in the past, present, and future by using the geographic grid and a variety of types of maps, including digital sources, to locate and access relevant geographic information that reflects multiple perspectives.
      • Geography 2 (D1): Students understand geographic aspects of unity and diversity in Maine, the United States, and various world cultures, including Maine Native Americans, by summarizing and interpreting the relationship between geographic features and cultures of Maine Native Americans, and historical and recent immigrant groups in Maine, the United States, and the world.
      • Geography 1 (F2): Students understand the geography of the United States and various regions of the world and the effect of geographic influences on decisions about the present and future by evaluating and developing a well-supported position about the impact of change on the physical and cultural environment.
      • Geography 1 (D3): Students understand the geography of the United States and various regions of the world and the effect of geographic influences on decisions about the present and future by describing the major regions of the Earth and their major physical, environmental, and cultural features using a variety of geographic tools, including digital tools and resources.
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