Flint Hills Map Exhibit Unit

Grade Level - Adaptable 3 - 12.  Lower grades - select / reduce number of questions, simplify language

Subject & Topic Areas: Social Studies, Science, Mathematics   

Curriculum Standards/Benchmarks (see below)

Time Length:  Vary by grade level & amount of time in discussion.  Estimated time for high school - approx. 45 min. each.  Activities can be edited - choose sections and questions to fit needs.   Some map work may be done independently as homework. 

Sequencing:  Recommend this unit follow “Introduction to the Flint Hills” Lesson, though not required.

1.  Guided Tour of Main Map Exhibit


Students explore features of Flint Hills Map (on left side of exhibit) and answer Questions.

Part I - Natural Features - Discussion with Guided note-taking Activity - handout - est. time for high school level: 45 min

Part II - Communities and Transportation - Discussion with Guided note-taking Activity - handout - est. high school level: 45 min

2.  Guided Tour of Exhibit Side Panels



Students explore
text and art on their level exhibit’s Side Panel (on right side of exhibit) and answer questions.

Note: See Map Exhibit Text documents for copies of wording on the Exhibit Side Panels

3.  Flint Hills Region Map - Activity



Map labeling activity and questions to extend and apply principles - to be completed 
after the above Map Exhibit Activities.  Materials:  Three handouts & short Powerpoint of additional resources.

  • Flint Hills Map Activity - Questions (Doc)  Instructions and questions guide students through map labeling activities.  Students write some answers on these general question sheets, and also place labels and markings as directed on their Flint Hills Activity Map.  For answers
  • Part I - General Geography - Locate cities, counties, transportation, public lands; Use Map Tools; Analyze Dual Boundaries of Flint Hills (est. high school level: 45 min.)
  • Part II - Water Resources - Locate local and continental watersheds / river systems; observe community location & water; consider water quality questions.  (est. high school level: 45 min.)
  • Flint Hills Reference Map (PDF) on front side and Flint Hills Map County Abbreviations (Doc) on back side (county seats are located on front but not labeled - they are listed on back side). Hand out to each student (can also show on-screen PowerPoint). This reference will answer most questions - is labeled with county abbreviations, major cities, rivers and lakes, interstate highways, preserves. This is reusable - students don’t write on this.
  • Flint Hills Activity Map (students write on these). Are labeled with County abbreviations. Have the following located, but not labeled: county seats, major cities, rivers and lakes, interstate highways, preserves.  Students use their Flint Hills Reference Maps (PDF) to find features and label them on these Activity Maps.  Also some Flint Hills Map Activity - Questions direct additional markings on Activity Maps.
  • Flint Hills Region Map Activity - PowerPoint (contains special maps and illustration/photos to help students answer certain questions

See related geography activities in Social Studies Lesson Plan: Flint Hills Place Names.

4.  Your County Map Activity


Students create their own outline map of their county - learn about local resources: prairie, transportation, communities, landmarks, water resources. Also, students plot locations and calculate distances.  

Discussion with Handout activities - middle/high school level: 75 min., lower grades 120 min or just do parts. Some parts of activity may be done together as a class or in small groups.

Teachers need to research some answers for local area ahead of time, i.e.  Where school gets its water supply – be able to locate on county map, etc.

  • Your County Map - Teacher’s Guide - instructions & background on activities.  Teachers will need to do a little background research on their area before doing this lesson.
  • Your County Map - Activity - Guided questions & activities
  • Your County Map Activity - PowerPoint (contains info to help students answer certain questions)
  • Also helpful to have set of  Kansas Official State Transportation Map (folded road map) – free distribution (call 1.800.2.Kansas) or ask local Chamber / C&V Bureau


Curriculum Standards/Benchmarks:

  • SOCIAL STUDIES:  4th Grade Kansas and US Regions, 7th Grade Geography/KS History, 8th Grade U.S. History
  • SCIENCE:  Elementary School: 5. Earth's Systems 5-ESS2-1., ESS2.A., Middle School: MS.Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems MS-LS2-1., MS-LS2-3., MS-LS2-4., MS.Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems MS-LS2-2., MS-LS2-5., LS4.D, High School: HS.Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems HS-LS2-4., LS2.B, HS-LS2-5., HS.Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems HS-LS2-1., HS-LS2-2., HS-LS2-6., HS-LS2-7., LS2.C, HS.Human Sustainability HS-ESS3-3, HS-ESS3-4. HS-ESS3-6., HS.Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems HS-LS2-7., HS-LS4-6., LS4.D
  • MATH:  4.MD.2, 7.G.1
  • CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUC: National Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) Career Cluster: Animal Systems