TimeMaps is historical maps software, just unveiled today, by our friends at KnowledgeQuest Maps! These interactive, animated maps are so informative and so user-friendly. I’m having fun playing with them tonight, since our children are all at various practices.
Since we are studying Rome currently and nearing its Fall, that is the first map set I opened. The first map in the sequence outlines the Roman Empire at its height, in 182 A.D., with plenty of key locations labeled. Several information buttons scattered across the map (when you click the main ‘I’ button,) provide pop-up historical data on the key places and peoples of the time, as you click each. To check your attentiveness to the information and the map, you can click another button to ask you questions about that map.
Another click and the map shows the next stop in history for this map, in this case 225 A.D. Animation shows invasions, and loss of territory, (or progress, travels, and other movement on other maps). You don’t just have a new different map, but you actually see the changes that happen between the two! Try that on your paper maps. 🙂
These 3 factors make these maps very engaging – historical information at a click, animation when you change maps to show you what is changing, and the questions to ensure you “got it”.
The map program itself is very intuitive, and only after I’d already gone through the whole map set for the Fall of the Roman Empire, did I open the included Notes pdf file, which includes instructions for using the maps. But this document includes more than just that.
In addition to the instructions, several suggested activities for further learning about the time period are included. These activities encourage deeper critical thinking, requiring the student to reason out the answers. You can pick and choose which ones will be appropriate for which of your children.
Also included in the Notes document is a Commentary on the Map, giving background information and details for each map in the sequence, at 2 levels. You decide how deep you want to share about each map with your students, a short overview or more in-depth information with further questions for your students.
But that still isn’t all. You can print out a Timeline for the Student to fill in, a Student’s map for them to label/color, and a Teacher’s Map (filled out correctly.)
And just when I thought I was done, I realized there were still 2 buttons I hadn’t clicked on at the beginning of the maps. In addition to the Start button, which takes you through the map sequence, there is a button called Worksheets will show you the activities (that are also included in the notes, that you could print out). The other button takes you to the TimeMaps of World History website, where you can explore an online Atlas of World History.
TimeMaps is much more than just a historical sequence of maps for your students to view on a computer, it provides the information, activities and questions needed to get your students thinking about what they are seeing on the maps, and what really happened in HisStory. TimeMaps is jam packed full of value! I look forward to sharing the Rise of the Roman Empire set with my children in tomorrow’s lessons. The other map sets currently available are: Ancient China, Rise of Islam, The Black Death, European Exploration, and Atlantic Slave Trade. Introductory price is 7.95 each. Available for both Windows and Mac computers.