Reserving the Giant Traveling Map

The National Geographic Giant Traveling Map national initiative provides all 50 states and DC a free giant floor map (roughly 20’ x 16’) of their state. The map is meant to be placed on the floor so that students can walk around and teachers can conduct activities on the map. Teachers and organizations may borrow the state map and additional materials at little to no cost for their classroom.  To see some Idaho classrooms using the map, take a look under our  National Geographic Initiatives page.

After reviewing the Booking Availability Calendar, fill out a Borrower Request Form to confirm a scheduled time.  You will see on the calendar that the Idaho Geographic Alliance currently has two maps and they are informally located in the southern and northern parts of the state (numbered 1 and 2). Shipping and traveling arrangements are dependent on the location of the map at the time it is needed at a different school.  Due to limited shipping funds we are trying to coordinate the maps within school districts and encourage teachers to pick up and drop off maps from nearby teachers.  We are also encouraging schools to explore funding for shipping costs when the map moves out of the current district.  When you reserve the map, please notice the map number and location, in order for us to keep the maps in their general geographic location.

When reserving, please Indicate your name, the school/group (and classroom grade) borrowing the map, contact and shipping information, and preferred dates on the form. Please comment on your form if your preferred dates are flexible and allow at least two weeks from the date you fill out your request to the date of your reservation so the Alliance can plan transportation of the map accordingly.

Receiving the Giant Traveling Map

Some teachers will receive their map trunk via a shipping company.  Others will receive their map trunk from a nearby teacher or an Alliance representative, if it feasible to deliver the materials by car.  Teacher assistance in picking up and delivering the map trunk is much appreciated, and helps to keep the maps moving along.  The map trunk is approximately 2.5’ x 3.5’.

Using the Giant Traveling Map

Each trunk contains the folded vinyl map. Materials vary by map, and include items like game cards, large hoops, colored cones, rope, flag football flags, poly spots, giant dice, an inflatable globe and air pump, and oversized map keys.

The map will not fit in a classroom. Usually the maps are set up in a gymnasium, cafeteria, or media center. Maps are NOT allowed to be used outdoors and students MUST wear socks while using the map.  Please do not place anything sharp or sticky on the map to avoid damage to the map.

A Giant Traveling Map is a great centerpiece for a special event in your school, and can be an exciting way to engage parents and community members. The maps are used regularly at school geography and family nights, community events, and celebrations of international cultures and arts.

If you are able to obtain parental permission to share your photos and student comments with the Alliance, we are delighted to post them on our website for others to see and hear how the maps are being used. Please use the link below or click here to get the National Geographic Kids Model Release Form to confirm permission to use student’s images.

Please see our Teacher Resources for lesson planning material to use with the Giant Traveling Map.

Returning the Giant Traveling Map

Depending on the needs for the map when you are ready to return it, you will either receive a prepaid shipping label with a destination, or you may be asked to help coordinate the transfer of the map to nearby teacher or school.  Teachers are also encouraged to help other educators in your district reserve the map while it is in the area, if the calendar is free at the time.   The Booking Availability Calendar link is provided above and the Alliance will keep you informed of plans for the map as you are completing your activities.

We will also be asking you to please complete the two short surveys after you have finished with the map.  The first survey goes directly to the National Geographic Giant Traveling Map program.  The second survey is for the Idaho Geographic Alliance and helps us to understand how educators are using the traveling maps in our state.  We are excited to hear your comments and committed to solving any problems that may have occurred.

Teacher Surveys

When you have completed your Giant Traveling Map experience, we will be emailing you a short survey for our Alliance and a link to the National Geographic Survey.  The Idaho Geographic Alliance survey will be used for statistics and comments only.  The National Geographic Survey is an anonymous and automated format and results are used to improve the State Giant Traveling Map Initiative.  We appreciate your feedback!

National Geographic Survey

Please use our Idaho Geographic Alliance email link to share your photos (if released by parents), comments and unique giant traveling map lesson plans with us.  We are always eager to share them with our members!