The map shown here is composed of enlarged "map tiles". Students are given several tiles, which they need to correctly tape together, color, & add geography features as directed by the teacher. Each student then matchees their set of connected tiles to another child's set of tiles...ultimately forming a 12' x 20' map of the Americas!!
The tiles (177+key!) are FREE and can be downloaded from the National Geographic GeoAction! website toolkit: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geography-action/index.html
You can download just the tiles you wish (if you only want a map of North America), and use them for any geographic topic...all ages of kids and adults love this activity! Ideas for how to use this map are available at the above website as well. This group of teachers put the North America section together (without coloring) in about 20 minutes. It will obviously take more time for kids to do this so plan accordingly, and you'll need to schedule a large room or gym, and have lots of scotch tape available!
Enjoying Mapping the Americas in a BIG WAY during Geography Awareness Week, Nov. 16-22, 2008!!