3.8. Map Tour Tutorial

This lesson introduces Lists as a data abstraction using the new Map component in App Inventor to build a tour of destinations.

Professional Development

The Student Lesson: Complete the activities for Mobile CSP Unit 3, Lesson 3.8: Map Tour Tutorial.


  • Presentation system (LCD projector/Interactive whiteboard)
  • Access to computer, laptop, or Chromebook (install the Companion app on Chromebooks)
  • Access to mobile device with the Companion app installed or access to the emulator installed on the computer or laptop. 
  • Map Tour Tutorial (video or handout)

3.8.1. Learning Activities

Estimated Length: 45 minutes

  • Hook/Motivation (5 minutes): Variables are simple data abstractions. What if we could save more than one item under one variable? For example a list of destinations. How would you know which destination to pull out of memory? (students should be led to numbering items on the list).
    For APIs, go to Wikipedia and search for something. How did the URL change? Can you switch to a different page by just changing the URL? How might Can the app use these URLs?
  • Experiences and Explorations (30 minutes):
    • Walk-through (15 minutes): Lead the students through the Map Tour Tutorial using the video or the text tutorial or the short handout.
    • Lists Go through the lesson write up about lists introducing the new vocabulary, the new blocks, and the corresponding AP pseudocode.
  • Rethink, Reflect and/or Revise (10 minutes): Ask the students do some or all of the enhancements. Students should write a reflection in their portfolio (this may be assigned for homework) and try the interactive exercises. There are also other possible enrichment activities, including a tutorial called Map A Run, in the Enrichment section below.

AP Classroom

The College Board's AP Classroom provides a question bank and Topic Questions. You may create a formative assessment quiz in AP Classroom, assign the quiz (a set of questions), and then review the results in class to identify and address any student misunderstandings. The following are suggested topic questions that you could assign once students have completed this lesson.

Suggested Topic Questions:

  • Topic 3.2 Data Abstraction
  • Topic 3.4 Strings

Assessment Opportunities and Solutions

Solutions Note: Solutions are only available to verified educators who have joined the Teaching Mobile CSP Google group/forum in Unit 1.

Assessment Opportunities

You can examine students’ work on the interactive exercise and their reflection portfolio entries to assess their progress on the following learning objectives. If students are able to do what is listed there, they are ready to move on to the next lesson.

  • Interactive Exercises:
  • Portfolio Reflections:
    LO X.X.X - Students should be able to ...
  • In the XXX App, look for:

Differentiation: More Practice

Students can read more about the ActivityStarter and the ListPicker in the App Inventor documentation.
Are your students needing more practice with Lists? Have them try the Magic 8-Ball app.

Differentiation: Enrichment

Students can explore GPS and location features by trying to create a map tour for local landmarks or landmarks in a different location than given in the tutorial.

Here is a fun tutorial called the Map A Run App which keeps track of where you have gone on a map. Student will probably need to use this app outside with GPS and WiFi or a cellular connection.

Background Knowledge: Activity Starter

This page from App Inventor gives more detailed information on how to use the ActivityStarter, including for opening web pages, email applications, YouTube, etc.

3.8.2. Professional Development Reflection

Discuss the following questions with other teachers in your professional development program.

  • How does this lesson help students toward the enduring understanding that programmers represent and organize data in multiple ways.

    I am confident I can teach this lesson to my students.
  • 1. Strongly Agree
  • 2. Agree
  • 3. Neutral
  • 4. Disagree
  • 5. Strongly Disagree