Student Atlas of Oregon – FREE Homeschool Geography Resource

At a recent STEAM training, we got the most amazing FREE geography resource – Student Atlas of Oregon.

How come we didn’t know about it before?  It is perfect for all us Oregon (and even non-Oregon) homeschoolers.  And even after I searched about the atlas, there really isn’t much about it.  It is a hidden gem that is not so hidden now that I’m going to tell you all about it.

What’s in the Student Atlas of Oregon

The Atlas was put together by the Portland State University Center for Geography Education in Oregon.  It has 60+ maps and diagrams all about our great state.  You can download the whole atlas (PDF) for free here.

It has sections on:

How to use maps

Physical landscape

Like topography, plate tectonics, and natural hazards

plate tectonics from student atlas of oregon
Pacific Northwest Plate Tectonics from Portland State Center for Geography Education in Oregon

 

Climate

Wildlife and vegetation

Like ecoregions, forests, timber harvests, and salmon

ecoregions oregon map from student atlas of oregon
Ecoregions in Pictures from Portland State Center for Geography Education in Oregon

Water resources

Like watersheds and rivers

Natural resources

Like energy productions and minerals

Native Americans

Native American Tribes from student atlas of oregon
Native American Tribes and Language Groups from Portland State Center for Geography Education in Oregon

Historical geography

Like the Oregon trail and map of the country when Oregon became a state

Population

Agriculture and ranching

Transportation and economy

Like ports, exports, and tourism

Others

Like unusual place names and Oregon at night

unusual place names from student atlas of oregon
Unusual Place Names from Portland State Center for Geography Education in Oregon

 

What do we think of the maps?

We agree with the Geographic Excellence in Media (the atlas won their award in 2012) that these maps in the Student Atlas of Oregon are a superior resource.

  • titles very clear
  • text is all legible and not too small
  • very colorful
  • interesting subjects and explanations
  • extras about how to use maps and some of the difficulties in mapping
  • photo and data sources referenced if you really want to dive in

Plus you cannot beat the price of FREE.  Remember you can download the whole thing here.

How does the Student Atlas of Oregon help you as a homeschool parent?

Well that is the question isn’t it?  Honestly, there are so many maps here that you could find one to fit all kids of subjects.

Talking about the history of Native Americans in Oregon?  There’s a map for that.

Talking about weather?  Check out the Weather Extremes map.

looking at the student atlas of oregon

I think any kind of geography lesson would benefit from an atlas like this.  My daughter just likes flipping through it on her own and she will ask plenty of her own questions.

Other ways to use the atlas:

Center for Geography Eduction in Oregon (C-GEO) lessons

The same group that put the map together also has 13 free model lessons to go with it!  Whew!  All that work already finished.

Here’s a list of all the lessons with links.

Guess that map

Isaac’s favorite activity for maps like this is to cover up the title and key then lets the kids guess which map it is.  They have to really pay attention to the patterns of the map and use that to make a guess.  You’ll always get some interesting answers with this one!

 

This all sound great right?  Now head over and check it out!  If you don’t want to print it, you can get a nicely bound hard copy for only $5 (which includes shipping in Oregon).  You can find the order form for that here.

And when you do grab it, tag us on Facebook or Instagram to tell use how you are using the atlas!

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