Map Talks! How-To & Freebies

Bonjour les friends,

Been getting a decent amount of questions about Map Talks and what it looks like in the classroom, so I decided to create a little video to explain a bit of what goes into them and how to execute them!

In short, a Map Talk is a low-prep, easily-accessible comprehensible input activity. Much like a picture talk, the teacher uses a visual aid to support talking about a thing with comprehensible language.

Map Talks, however, take us a step further in that they really allow us to begin building context for the rest of our studies of practices and products within the target cultures.

By using students' prior knowledge of their local landscape, the teacher is able to establish meaning of key language. For example, when you look at Google Maps of your area, you can start asking about the local rivers and mountains and climate, etc. and the learners will be pretty likely to know about those things, which will then allow you to apply the same language to a new place.

I could go on for days about Map Talks, but take a second to consider how one Map Talk activity lends to the 5 C's of the World-Readiness Standards:

  • Communication

  • Cultures

  • Connections

  • Comparisons

  • Communities

Here is an example of me doing one with a class of mine last year on La République Démocratique du Congo that will show you a bit of what it looks like.

EDIT: And another from last year on le Sénégal that I think is really illuminating.


Here is a link to my free Haïti Map Talk Script that I discuss in the attached video on my Teachers Pay Teachers. Give it a shot, let me know how it goes with your kids! I would absolutely love to see some videos of y'all using it in your classrooms.

Anyway, as always, thanks for the love and support, and thanks for all you're doing out here in the trenches.

Keep in touch,


PD & Workshops

Resources & Materials

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