CORE CURRICULUM GOALS:
Social Studies — Utah Studies Standard 1: Students will understand the interaction between
Utah’s geography and its inhabitants.
• Objective 1: Investigate the relationship between physical geography and Utah’s settlement,
land use and economy.
• Objective 2: Examine how people affect the geography of Utah.
• List and organize many different features of a map.
• Compare and contrast maps that represent Utah Lake from unique historical perspectives.
• Make inferences and generate conclusions based on the student’s reading of historic
documents made for specific purposes.
• Generate conclusions about maps that were made at different times and how it
demonstrates the changes in both the geography and the people’s use of Utah Lake
during this period.
Overhead transparencies or copies for individual students of the Dominguez/Escalante Map
(1776), the Utah Territory Survey Map (1856), and the modern Utah Geological Survey Map
(2006), which are included on the following pages.
1. Distribute copies of the maps to each student or display the maps on an overhead projector.
2. All maps display three-dimensional features on a flat piece of paper. Make a list of map
features on the board that students notice on the maps. For example, the location of
mountains and rivers, names of rivers and towns, distances, scale, human impact.
3. Lead the class in comparing and contrasting the maps. Questions for discussion might
include the following:
• Maps are made for different purposes. Some of those purposes might include navigation,
exploration, displaying ownership, or illustrating the elevation of the terrain. What
was the purpose of the Dominguez/Escalante Map (1776)? What was the purpose of
the Utah Territory Survey Map (1856)? And the most recent Utah Geological Survey
• Maps and historical documents are created within a cultural tradition and present a
glimpse into the culture that created them. How would the person(s) responsible for
making the map influence what it looks like?
• Are there any changes in the course of any tributaries or rivers that flow into Utah
Lake? How may this have come about? What might be the benefits and detriments to
changing the course of tributaries?
• What are the problems in comparing the two hand-drawn maps to a more modern map
of Utah Lake? What can be gained from the hand-drawn maps that are not present on
their modern counterpart?
• The Utah Territory Survey Map (1856) illustrates a wide band of plants and marsh land
along the shores of Utah Lake. Why are plants and marsh land not present on the
other two maps? Did the map makers omit that information? Or has the amount of
plant material on the shoreline changed over the years?
• Do you notice anything that might have been left out on the Dominguez/Escalante
Map (1776) that is present in the other two maps? Hint: look between the Great Salt
Lake and “Laguna de los Timpanogos” (Utah Lake). You might also notice on that map
that there is a large river that flows westward out of the Great Salt Lake. What might
that lead some people to believe?
• On the Dominguez/Escalante Map (1776) the presence of Indian villages are recorded
by using a dome-shaped figure. While the Utah Territory Survey Map (1856) represents
the location of settlements by recording the names of towns and villages. But the Utah
Geological Survey Map (2006) uses aerial imagery that displays where people have built
homes, roads, and farms. What changes have taken place in the past 300 years with
regards to where people are living in proximity to the lake? Are people living closer or
farther from the lake? What can that tell us about how different our own modern culture
is from the early Native American dwellings around the lake?
4. Discuss differences and similarities students found, and have the class add them to their
list on the board or record them in their notebooks or journals.
Look for students' ability to generate ideas/concepts that reflect their existing knowledge
of a map's elements. Check to see that as the lesson progresses, students understand that
differences in mapmaking are reflections of a culture. Check to see that students express
their ideas about how these maps reveal the changes that Utah Lake has undergone in the
past 300 years.
• Have younger students trace the outline of the Utah Lake shore from each different map
onto graph paper and compare the scale and accuracy of each map.
• Have older students research the origin of the maps used for this lesson. When were
these maps made and by whom? Why would mapmakers have created maps without
first verifying geographical accuracy? On what would they have based their information?
• Have students visit http://earth.google.com/ and examine Utah Lake. How do satellite
images compare to the three maps used in this lesson?
• Have students make their own map of what Utah Lake will look like one hundred years
from now. Where will the shorelines be? Will there be any marshland or vegetation around
the lake? Will there be more people living around the lake?