A Cultural Lesson Using a New York City Map

Posted on September 18, 2012


Maps are great tools for learning geography.  But they can also be useful in teaching history and culture.  Here’s a unique activity that can teach your students some things about the diversity of New York City.  DaVinci Business Graphics shows you how a New York City map can educate your students on history and culture.  

New York City is a diverse place, with many ethnic neighborhoods and cultural areas.  Although English is predominantly spoken in the city today, it wasn’t always that way.  Before British colonization, New York was New Amsterdam, a Dutch colony that was part of the Dutch West       Indies Company.  When the English took over New York City from the Dutch, they kept several place and city names.

Step 1 of the lesson is to have a New York City map ready for your students.  Ask them which areas of the city they think were named by the Dutch settlers.  After your students have guessed, tell them the answers.  You can even indicate on the map all the areas that were named by the Dutch.

Before the Dutch and the English, New York City was inhabited by the Lenape people.  The Native Americans in the area also influenced the names of places in the city.  Step 2 of the lesson is to ask your students which places they think were named by the Native Americans.

Once you’ve discussed place names with your students, take the discussion a step further with them.  Why did so many Dutch settlers name places after cities in their homeland?  Why did some place names remain unchanged when the English took the city?  What do the names of places in New York City say about the geography of the area?  We think you and your students will find this activity fun and educational.

If you’re looking for a city, county, state, country, continent, or world map to help you teach your students, contact DaVinci Business Graphics.  Visit our store in Orange County, California and we will help you find the map just right for you.  We carry maps of every area in the US and the world.  We even create custom maps that cover your specific area, and display the details and styles that you want.

Contact DaVinci Business Graphics today and discover how our maps can help you in the classroom

Visit Us on the Web at davincibg.com


Call Us at 1-949-679-7666


Image 1,2,5 via mapsales.com, Image 3 via gothamist.com, Image 4 via homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Posted in: Education Maps, USA