Lesson 2: Mapping Districts

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 density

Materials: Mapping Districts Student Worksheet 2, CNMI wall map, pencil/pen

Time Required: 45 minutes

Getting Started

Draw students’ attention to the CNMI wall map. Demonstrate that the map includes the boundaries and names of the island municipalities and districts that make up the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 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 to another.

    Using the Student Worksheets

  1. Before distributing Mapping Districts Student Worksheet 2, discuss the concept of population density. Explain that although one district might have a similar population to another one, 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 Districts Student Worksheet 2. Help students color in the map key, using the colors that are shown on the CNMI wall map for identifying population density. Then, using the map key, guide them in identifying and coloring the districts shown.
  4. Discuss the five districts that appear on the worksheet. How are District 5 and District 6 on Saipan similar? How are they different? What statement can they make about Saipan’s District 9? (District 5 and District 6 on Saipan are similar because they have similar land areas, but District 6 has more people per square mile. Saipan’s District 9 has a large land area with few people per square mile.)


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 CNMI wall map, and that the 2010 Census CNMI will help them make a new, updated map.

Teaching Options

Younger or less skilled students will learn that the CNMI 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 CNMI 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) District 9 on Saipan; b) District 10 on Saipan; c) District 5 on Saipan;
District 11 on Saipan; e) District 6 on Saipan

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