Learn More About Mapping the World  by Heart

About the Creator

David J. Smith is a classroom teacher with over 25 years' experience teaching English, Geography, and Social Studies in grades 4-12. He achieved recognition for his unique method of teaching seventh graders to draw maps of the entire world from memory, published as the highly successful curriculum, Mapping the World by Heart. In 1992, Smith won the U.S. Department of Education's "A+ For Breaking The Mold" Award for this work. Since 1992, he has been a full-time consultant, providing lectures and workshops on geography and global issues, and on IT issues, to teachers, parents, student groups, and others in the United States, Europe, Africa, South America, Australia, and Asia.

Time Magazine, NBC's Today Show, the Los Angeles Times, and the Associated Press, among others, have acknowledged Smith and the success of his curriculum. Besides the curriculum, Smith has written articles for the New York Times' Education Life section, The International Educator, The World Paper, NESA Notes, and Independent School Bulletin. He has written five other books, including If The World Were A Village, which was published in March, 2002, by Kids Can Press in Toronto. The CEESA Web-Site Manual and Emergency Procedures Handbook for International Schools were published respectively in 1998 and 2003 by the U.S. State Department. The sequel to If The World Were A Village, entitled If America Were A Village, was published in August, 2009. His newest book, This Child, Every Child: A Book About the World's Children, was published early in 2011, also by Kids Can Press.

Besides book visits and assemblies, David offers consultation services, workshops, and platform presentations on geography and global awareness for schools and professional organizations. David was born in the United States, but is a permanent resident of Canada; he and his wife live in North Vancouver, BC.

Reviews & Testimonials

"Before, when I heard the name of a country, I just thought of it as a name, and it didn't really matter to me. After you do a memory map, it's kinda neat because you can picture it in your mind, not only that country and what it's like there, but everything else around it. You have a map in your head wherever you go."

Seventh Grader
Belmont, MA

"I love Mapping the World by Heart! I am also teaching the Mapping the U.S. by Heart section to 11 kids in our homeschool group. I would recommend this to anyone that wants their child (or themselves) to learn geography. We have lots of fun with it, while learning quickly and easily."

Christina Cronauer
Home School Buyers Co-op Member

"Our 7th grade has mapped by heart for 4 years, and it is without a doubt one of the highlights of their educational experiences. 1) What we notice most is how the students are stretched beyond what they think they are capable of doing and feel so proud of their great accomplishment at the end of the school year. Graduates of the program come into our classrooms to reminisce and look at current students' maps (of course, none are as good as theirs!) 2) One of the most important aspects of [Mapping the World by Heart] is that STUDENTS OF ALL LEARNING STYLES have a picture of the world in their heads for the rest of their lives. Usually the "tactile/kinesthetic" and "process" students excel at the maps because their creativity has an outlet in an academic course. Even our RSP students with learning disabilities amaze their parents with their accomplishments! In 4 years we have not had one student who was unable to do the maps, though some needed templates or easier checklists. 3) The California framework for history/social sciences does not allow for a specific geography course, so we integrate this program with 7th grade World History. It is a perfect blend."

Two Seventh Grade Teachers
Cypress, CA

Click here to discover how it is being used in the classroom.


U.S. Department of Education "Breaking the Mold" Award

Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards Honorable Mention