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Available GIS Courses, Lessons, and Activities 

There are many free online resources for learning basic GIS skills as well as existing projects and lesson plans that can be directly incorporated into classroom curricula.  Browse the resources below to gain GIS skills, find exercises to help educators use in their classrooms, or get inspired to create new projects and exercises with a K-12 school collaborator. This is a starting point list as there are many more great resources online. If you have a resource to suggest adding to this page, please let us know at Additional training materials designed specifically for educators and introducing GIS in K-12 education are available here.

  • GeoInquiries   Designed to be fast and easy-to-use instructional resources that incorporate advanced web mapping technology. Each 15-minute activity is intended to be presented by the instructor from a single computer/projector classroom arrangement. No installation, fees, or logins are necessary to use these materials and software.  Current topic collections range in skill level from elementary to high school and include American literature, world history, environmental science, mathematics, human geography, and more.
  • Teach with GIS Curriculum Builder   This collection features free, downloadable lessons for teaching students GIS, searchable by experience-level and subject matter. You can also filter lessons by those that do and do not require an account login.
  • Learn ArcGIS Lesson Gallery   With a focus on scenario-based, hands on activities, this gallery includes videos, articles, lessons, and story maps searchable by capability, industry, and region.
  • Thinking Spatially using GIS   Thinking Spatially using GIS provides structured lessons in elementary geography using ArcGIS Online software. Recommended for grades 4-6. Approximately 30-60 minutes per lesson. Topics include: world exploration, the animal kingdom, people and patterns, and US tornadoes. These activities may be used without logging in or with your own ArcGIS Online account.
  • Mapping our World   Mapping our World provides structured lessons in geography, social studies, and environmental science using ArcGIS Online software. Recommended for grades 6-12. Approximately 45-90 minutes per lesson. Lesson topics include: geographic inquiry, geology, climate, population, boundaries, and forces of nature. These activities may be used without logging in or with your own ArcGIS Online account.
  • ArcGIS Book Series (with Instructional Guides)   The ArcGIS Book series presents a new way of learning and teaching GIS that leverages the world of geospatial information that is available online. Live maps and apps, videos, and hands-on lessons combine to illustrate the power and simplicity of a modern GIS.


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