Lesson 2: Mapping Subdistricts

Grades K–4

Words To Know

Strand: Map Literacy

Skills and Objectives

  • bullet Visualize census data on a map
  • bullet Use a map key to read a population map
  • bullet Understand the concept of population

Materials: Mapping Subdistricts Student Worksheet 2, U.S. Virgin Islands wall map, pencil/pen

Time Required:   45 minutes

    Getting Started

    Draw students’ attention to the U.S. Virgin Islands wall map. Demonstrate that the map includes the boundaries and names of the three islands and 20 subdistricts that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the population of each one based on Census 2000. Use the map key to explain how colors make it easier to understand how the population differs from one district and subdistrict to another.

    Using the Student Worksheets

  1. Before distributing Mapping Subdistricts Student Worksheet 2, discuss the concept of population density. Explain that although one subdistrict might have a similar population to another, the density of its population will be different if people are spread out over a smaller or larger area.
  2. You can illustrate this by having students move from the classroom into a gym or cafeteria. What do they notice about their group as it moves to a larger area?
  3. Distribute Mapping Subdistricts Student Worksheet 2. Help students color in the map key, using the colors that are shown on the U.S. Virgin Islands wall map for identifying population density. Then, using the map key, guide them in identifying and coloring the subdistricts shown.
  4. Discuss the five subdistricts that are featured on the worksheet. How are Tutu on St. Thomas and Southcentral on St. Croix similar? How are they different? Have them compare Northcentral and Sion Farm subdistricts on St. Croix on their own. What statement can they make about Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas? (Tutu on St. Thomas and Southcentral on St. Croix are similar because they have similar population figures. They are different because the Southcentral subdistrict has a much larger land area than the Tutu subdistrict. The Northcentral and Sion Farm subdistricts on St. Croix have similar land areas, but the Sion Farm subdistrict has many more people than the Northcentral subdistrict. Charlotte Amalie is the most populated.)


Explain that a census is a way to find out how many people live in a place. Discuss how Census 2000 gave mapmakers the information for the U.S. Virgin Islands wall map, and that the 2010 Census USVI will help them make a new, updated map.

Teaching Options

Younger or less skilled students will learn that the U.S. Virgin Islands wall map depicts the island on which the students live. Point out the approximate location of the school. Draw students’ attention to the map key (or legend). Explain that the key unlocks the meaning of the map. Have students discuss what each symbol means. Another option is to ask students to create a symbol for their homes on a printable outline map of the U.S. Virgin Islands and include it in a map key. Help them choose a color for that symbol. Then help them to place the colored symbols for their homes on their maps.

Older or more skilled students can create a map of their school at different times of the day to show the differences in population density at key times (e.g., lunch, gym, recess, during class changes).


Student Worksheet 2: a) Tutu on St. Thomas; b) Southcentral on St. Croix; c) Northcentral on St. Croix; d) Cruz Bay on St. John; e) Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas

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