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
Like topography, plate tectonics, and natural hazards
Wildlife and vegetation
Like ecoregions, forests, timber harvests, and salmon
Like watersheds and rivers
Like energy productions and minerals
Like the Oregon trail and map of the country when Oregon became a state
Agriculture and ranching
Transportation and economy
Like ports, exports, and tourism
Like unusual place names and Oregon at night
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.
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.
- Introduction to the Basic Physical Features of Oregon
- Latitude and Longitude
- My Oregon Road Trip: A Mapping Unit
- Animal Footprints across Oregon
- Exploring the Relationships between Bodies of Water and Population Distribution in Oregon
- The Columbia River as a Resource
- Crater Lake
- Ecoregions of Oregon: Many Pieces, One Puzzle
- Love Your State by Telling the Oregon Story
- Analyzing the Relationship between Topography and Climate
- Oregon Rivers as Guides
- Oregon Crops and Climates
- Relocate to Oregon!
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!