Social Studies - 2019-20

WG.3 e - Mental Maps

The student will apply the concept of a region by 

e) developing and refining mental maps of world regions. 

(moved from WG.1c)

Adopted: 2015


Theme- Region, Continuity vs. Change, Perspective

How do humans divide the world?

How do regions help people understand the world?

How do physical landforms affect the formation of regions?

How are world regions shaped by human culture and ideas?


Mental maps are based on objective knowledge and subjective perceptions. 

Mental maps help us carry out daily activities, give directions to others, and understand world events. 

People develop and refine their mental maps through both personal experience and learning. 

Mental maps serve as indicators of how well people know the spatial characteristics of certain places. 


Term to Know 

  • mental map: An individual’s internalized representation of aspects of Earth’s surface 

Ways mental maps can be developed and refined 

  • Comparing sketch maps to maps in atlases or other resources 
  • Describing the location of places in terms of reference points (e.g., the equator, prime meridian) 
  • Describing the location of places in terms of geographic features and landforms (e.g., west of the Mississippi River, north of the Gulf of Mexico) 
  • Describing the location of places in terms of their human characteristics (e.g., languages; types of housing, dress, recreation; customs and traditions)


Updated: Jun 13, 2018