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Contour Mapping with Optional 3-D Mapping

Grade Level: 5-12

Lesson Time: 1-2 hours

Materials Required:

  • 4 photocopies of the Map (one each in white, blue, green, and yellow) – in Activity PDF below
  • Color markers (if color paper is unavailable)
  • Rubber cement or glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Tape or thumbtacks
  • Foam core or cardboard (optional)
  • Cutting tool like a utility knife (optional)

 Disciplines: Geography and Marine Science

Summary: Use the included maps and an overhead projector to study how coastal and underwater features affect water circulation patterns.


  • To be able to define a gulf as a semi-enclosed body of water and recognize such features on a map or globe.
  • To be able to locate the Gulf of Maine and the three states and two Canadian provinces that border it.
  • To be able to read and use contour maps.
  • To be able to explain how coastal and underwater geologic features affect water circulation in the Gulf of Maine, including the enclosing properties of the shallow Georges and Brown Banks and the deep Atlantic Ocean water flow through the Northeast Channel.

Activity download: activity_contour_mapping

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