Map It Out!

Geography

Students will make a class map that shows the routes students take when they travel from home to school.

What You Need

What to Do

  1. Explain to the class that for homework they will be making large maps that show the routes they travel from home to school. These routes can be walking or bus routes, depending on individual preference.
  2. Before students begin their maps, suggest that they each bring a small notebook and a pencil with them on their next walk or bus trip from home to school. Encourage them to jot down the names of important streets along the way and to add landmarks such as parks, stores, and fire and police stations. Have students keep in mind that their maps should be simple. Too much detail might be confusing.
  3. After students have completed their maps, have each of them mark the route from home to school with a colored line, add a compass rose to show directions, and draw a map key that shows what any symbols mean.
  4. Before bringing the map to school, have each student show it to a friend or relative and ask him or her to describe the route out loud. An example might be, “Go west when you leave your house. Walk a block past the park.” Students might find out at this step that they need to make some modifications.
  5. When all the maps are complete, have students use their individual maps along with a town or city map to create one large class map that shows each student’s route from home to school. Remind students to include a compass rose and a map key. Display the map on a bulletin board and use it to teach map skills. Students will have more fun practicing this skill when they recognize places on the map.

Teaching Options