Print version of this lesson plan.

Geography of Micronesia: Reading Maps

By Shirleen Yabut

Elementary School Educator, Daniel L. Perez Elementary School, Guam

About This Lesson

The following lesson plan was developed as part of the Culturally Sustaining Education: The Micronesian Context professional development workshop held 24-26 July 2018.  The workshop was held in Guam and made possible by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in partnership with Chaminade University of Honolulu’s Center for Teaching and Learning, the Department of CHamoru Affairs and the Senator Antonio Palomo Guam Museum and Educational Facility, the College of Micronesia, Alik Translation Services, and Guampedia.  All lesson plans developed as part of this series were authored by a Guam-based educator with contributions from workshop facilitators.




Elementary, 5th Grade

Time required

45 minutes for 5 Days

Materials required

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Computer
  • Internet
  • Speakers
  • Projector
  • Copies of a map of Micronesia

Related background reading

  • Houghton Mifflin Social Studies Textbook

Related documents

  • PowerPoint by Dr. Viernes on “Micronesia: A History of the ‘Tiny Islands’”

Related links

Lesson Plan


Students will use their map skills to be able to identify islands in Micronesia based on their latitude and longitude, and determine the approximate distance between identified islands.


Use maps, globes, photographs, pictures, or tables to locate or recognize the following:

  • Parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude
  • The seven continents and five oceans
  • Key geographic features on maps, diagrams, and/or photographs


Day 1

  1. Identify basic parts of a map (title, legend, compass rose, inset maps, etc.)
  2. Lesson on latitude and longitude
  3. Distribute copies of a map of Micronesia, and have students identify the numbers for the lines of latitude and longitude.
  4. Practice: Give students coordinates and have them identify which island can be found at the given coordinates (e.g., 13° N and 144° E is Guam).
  5. Activity: Have students write the coordinates for a certain island or atoll on one side of an index card, and the name of the island or atoll on the other side of the card. Have students pair up and take turns to identify the island or atoll their partner chose using the coordinates. When they correctly identify the location, students will then find another partner and repeat the activity.
    • Teacher note: “Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up” would be a good Kagan Structure to use for this activity. Each time the pair of students are done correctly identifying a location, they will put their hands up and identify another person whose hand is also up as their next partner.

Day 2

Lesson on the seven continents and five oceans.

Day 3

Lesson on Micronesia

  1. Ask students what are the places they think of when they heard the word “Micronesia.” List places on the board.
  2. Show Dr. James Viernes’ PowerPoint of “Micronesia: A History of Tiny Islands”
  3. Ask students to identify any other islands in Micronesia that were not mentioned earlier.

Day 4

  1. Show video on “Using Map Scale to Calculate Distance
  2. Distribute copies of the map of Micronesia, and have students take out a sheet of blank paper to create their map scales using miles.
    • Discuss the map scale and identify what numbers are not shown.
  3. Practice: Have students identify the distances between islands (e.g., from Guam to Pohnpei, or from Enewetak Atoll to Ronlap Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands). Afterwards, have students answer on a teacher-created worksheet.

Day 5

Closing Activity

Oral review on parts of a map, latitude, longitude, the seven continents, and the five oceans. Review the meaning of Micronesia and ask students what they think of when they hear the word “Micronesia”. The bottom line is to drive in the point that whether we are from Guam, Saipan, Chuuk, Yap, Palau or any other island in Micronesia, WE ARE ALL MICRONESIANS.