Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tell It, Map It--MapTales

One of my favorite sources of good websites and applications is Larry Ferlazzo, an educator who maintains Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...  In one of his final posts of 2013 he provides his readers with The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In ____.    This year he included a neat little application for making digital stories using maps, MapTales.

In the introductory paragraph on the left side they list plenty of ideas to get you started using this free application.  To begin all you need to do is select the green Create Your Tale button.  A new window captioned Let's Get Started appears.

You are asked to give your tale a name.  Naming the author and a description of the story are optional but if this is being used to practice writing or to document something I would encourage users to complete these items.  When finished click on the green Move on to Part One.

At the next screen you are advised to keep adding parts until your story is told.  For each part you enter in a title, search for the place it happened, complete a description (optional) and add a date (optional).  Sometimes I found the search function to be a little slow but it might have been my connection at the time.  What worked for me was to enter in the term, click on the search icon, wait and click on it again.  The correct map would appear.  You do have the option of zooming in and out on the map.  The first two images show the entire page.  My completed part three is the third image.

With all necessary parts added, I selected the I'm done editing button.  At the next screen you are asked to save the URL link (bookmark the page) for future editing purposes.  At this page you can edit your initial title and description.  All your parts are listed with the ability to delete them or add another. If you click on any of the parts, you are taken to the page where they were originally added for purposes of editing.  An HTML embed code is provided.  

Here is my first MapTales titled Biographic Journeys with Jeanette Winter.
What I find really appealing about this application is the no registration feature.  This service can be used by younger students who wish to tell a story combining the use of maps.  In my book, that's a huge plus.

Technology has given us advances in connectivity that are truly amazing.  I think it's important for our students (and us) to know where the people, animals and places mentioned in our reading are placed on maps.  It provides perspective.

I am in complete agreement with Larry Ferlazzo in recommending this application.  Once you have listed or outlined the shape of your story it can be completed with ease in under thirty minutes.  Be sure to give MapTales a try in your classroom.  Let me know in the comments below how you use it.


  1. Cool! This looks nifty--I'm thinking of poetry-related uses for it. Or school-visit mapping. Hmmm...Thanks for sharing!

    1. It is really nifty, Laura. I like the no registration and ease of use best. Plus I am a fan of anything map related. You are welcome. Thanks for stopping by my blog.