Map Making Skills
Knowing where you are is important, but telling others how to
find someplace is also important and is a learned skill. One of
the best ways to tell others (and yourself in the future) how
to get to a certain spot is to use a map. People who make maps
are called cartographers.
- Use a topographic map or a street map to learn about how maps
work. Have students relate what they see on a map with visible
- Use Aerial photos to locate features of the landscape near
- Study aerial photos from different years to show changes in
the landscape over time. Notice how landmarks are needed to work
out how the area has changed.
- Practice drawing maps in the classroom. Use graph paper to
represent the floorplan of the classroom. Relate the squares on
the paper to measurements of the classroom and the objects in
it. Draw a map of the classroom with the windows, doors, desks.
For older students, make a map of the school grounds or school
- TREASURE HUNT! Have a treasure hunt in a nearby park or reserve
or perhaps on the school grounds. Obtain a map of the area to
be searched and make photocopies for the student teams. Be sure
to locate landmarks on the map everyone can use to start their
- Make up a list of possible "treasure troves" that
might be found:
- A crab, a bird (extra points for a bird nest), a sea shell,
or other creature.
- A kind of algae, beach plant, tree, flower, moss.
- Students must find the treasure and mark it's location on
the map, drawing in landmarks and pacing off distances. Set a
time limit for the hunt and map-making.
The treasure is only "discovered" when another student
or the teacher can follow the student's treasure map to find it
again. All creatures must be left unharmed.