Michigan Geographic Alliance

A white circle on a gold background with the words The purpose of the Michigan Geographic Alliance is to strengthen geography and environmental education in Michigan. Supported by Central Michigan University's Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. Our efforts are funded by donations, grants and the K-12 Geography Education outreach endowment.

The Michigan Geographic Alliance was founded in 1989 as part of the National Geographic Society's national network of geographic alliances by Dr. Michael Libbee from Central Michigan University, and Dr. Joseph Stoltman of Western Michigan University. The MGA has been headquartered in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Central Michigan University since its inception.  Supported by initial funding from the National Geographic Education Foundation, the State of Michigan and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the MGA has operated for over 30 years with continued support from the Connie Binsfeld Endowment in Geographic Education.

What we do

The Michigan Geographic Alliance has formed a network of teachers, geographers and educators who are committed to using geographic content and skills to improve the educational experiences of Michigan students. Our trained teacher consultants are actively involved in assisting school districts and individual teachers attain skills to assure students are proficient in geographic knowledge and skills.

Giant floor maps

Two young elementary students standing, one in a blue shirt and one in a red a white striped shirt,  on a giant map of michigan.Geography is an essential element of 21st century education. Our outreach projects are designed to engage children and their families in interesting and educational activities.

Ranging in size from 16 x 20 feet to 32 x 37 feet, our giant maps and supporting materials can be rented for 14 days.

We encourage schools to work with local partners to share the costs.



Giant maps of Michigan

Contact the MGA at mga@cmich.edu to request a loan of one of our three giant maps of Michigan. The giant Michigan map is 20’x16’ and created by National Geographic. The map comes with a trunk of cones, markers, cups and other materials for creating an exciting and educational program for your students.  The cost to rent the Giant Michigan Floor map for a two week period is $100, which includes shipping.

Giant maps of North America and Africa

Contact the MGA at mga@cmich.edu to request a loan of a giant map of North America or Africa.  The North America map is 20’x26’ and the giant Africa map is 23’x20’. They are both created by National Geographic and comes with a trunk full of educational materials for creating an exciting and educational program for your students. The cost to rent the giant North America or giant Africa map for a two week period is $200, which includes shipping.

Lesson plans by grade level

GeoHistoGram kits

The MGA offers GeoHistoGram kits that are available in the US GeoHistoGram format or the World GeoHistoGram format. The GeoHistoGram is a teacher-tested, neurologically sound graphic organizer to help students put historic events into geographical and historical context. Each kit includes one 33”x22” GeoHistoGram poster, 15 GeoHistogram placemats (US 8.5”x11” & World 11”x17”) and one Spatial Thinking poster. The Spatial Thinking poster is 17”x22”. The cost to order a kit is $20 which includes shipping. Please contact mga@cmich.edu to order a GeoHistoGram kit. 

United States GeoHistoGram Kit lessons and materials

World GeoHistoGram Kit lessons and material

Spatial Thinking Poster lessons and material

Family geography night kits

The Family Geography Night Kit​ is available on loan from the MGA to help your school host a dynamic event which will invite families to experience geography and think critically while exploring the power of global knowledge. The Family Geography Night Kit contains directions and manipulatives for 10 exciting activities that can be adjusted for your grade level. Cost for the use of the FGN kit is $75.00 to cover shipping and handling within the state of Michigan.  Additional charges may apply to out of state. Please contact mga@cmich.edu for more information.