Capture1-554x368.png

Understanding Maps

8-10 yrs old

11-13 yrs old

Art and Design

Geography

Math & Economics

Look at examples of maps, learn to use grid references, and interpret maps using scale.

avatar Submitted By: Litcraft

May 7, 2018

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

External References

Treasure Island World File

Treasure Island world in Minecraft to support lessons.

Supporting Files

Lesson Plans and Cross Curricular Resources


Lesson plan and additional resources.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize an increasing range of symbols on maps.
  • Locate features on maps using six figure grid references.
  • Interpret maps using scale.

Guiding Ideas

What is a map?

Ask students the question: what is a map? Record their responses on a flip chart.

Have students refer to the map of Treasure Island and give them a range of different historical and fictional maps.

[Provided in attached zip file, Lesson 4 - Cross-Curricular Tie-Ins, Geography Resources]

Students work in pairs and identify what is the same about these maps and what is different. They record their responses on post-it notes with similarities in one color and differences in another color. They stick these on a large sheet of paper.

Ask for feedback from the class. Can we come up with a list of characteristics that are common to most maps? Start introducing key terminology e.g. symbols, features, compass, scale. Record a list of key characteristics on a flip chart.

Return to the question that was asked at the beginning of the lesson. What do children think a map is now? Add revised responses in a different color.

Understanding Maps

Ask the students what things help us to understand a map? Students discuss in groups and, hopefully, they will come up with things like color, symbols, features etc. Explain that today’s lesson will focus on symbols.

Give the students a section of an map of their local area that contains lots of symbols. Children should be given time to locate familiar places before moving on to the main activity.

Ask the students to do a symbol hunt on the local map. How many different symbols can they find?

Give the students a set of cards containing 10-15 symbols from the local area map that they have been given and matching cards containing the correct definitions.

Students work in a group and see if they can match the definitions to the correct symbols. They need to be able to justify the the choices that they have made.

Explain that on an map a key is known as a legend. The children are going to have 1 minute to look at the correct legend for the symbols they have been working with before playing a matching game. Children mix up the cards that they have and place them face down, spread out on the table.

Give students the actual legend to look at and time them for 1 minute. Collect in the legend.

Students play a memory game in groups to match the correct symbols to the definitions:

  • Each student takes a turn.
  • They turn two cards over.
  • If they match symbol and definition correctly the child keeps the card. If not, they are turned back over and the game continues.
  • The winner is the student with the highest number of cards at the end of the game.

Students create their own legend for the local area map using the symbols and definitions that they have learned from the memory game.

Grid References

Give students the map of the local area again. Why does the map have grid-lines (which are not part of the actual place) and numbers on it? Get responses from the children.

Using the local area map explain how to use grid references.

 

Student Activities

Scale:

Look at different scaled versions of the same local map that you have been using e.g. 1:25,000 and 1:50,000. Or use attached zip file, Lesson 4 - Cross-Curricular Tie-Ins, Mapping Scale.

Explain that the reason the maps look different is because they have different scales. The distance on the map is equivalent to an actual distance on land. On a 1:25,000 map 1cm is equal to 25,000 centimeters on the land and on a 1:50,000 map 1cm is equal to 50,000 centimeters on land.

Use 1:25,000 as class model and go through the following questions:

[use Lesson 4 - Determining Scale Worksheet in attached zip file]

  1. If 1cm on the map equals 25,000cm on the land how many meters does 1cm on the map equal? How can you work it out?
  2. If 1cm on the map equals 250m on the land how many meters does 1mm on the map equal? How can you work it out?
  3. If 1cm on the map equals 250m on the land how centimeters on the map equals 1km on land? How can you work it out?

Mapping to Scale

Choose an area of the school for students to measure. Ideally, it should be a large area with straight edges e.g. school playground/hall/field. Different groups could measure different areas.

Students work in groups and decide what equipment they are going to use to measure the area accurately and what they will need to measure.

Students measure the area and record their measurements.

Back in the classroom, students use their measurements to create a scale drawing of the area.

Provide a range of historical and fiction island maps, including the Treasure Island map, or have students bring in their own from home.

[See resources in attached zip file, Lesson 4 - Cross-Curricular Tie-Ins, Maps]

Students should carry out the following activities:

  1. Decide on the size of the island in km.
  2. Decide on an appropriate scale for their map and work out the conversions.
  3. Draw the outline shape of the island on 1mm grid paper (see download link for paper above).
  4. Add a scale to the map (usually located at the bottom).
  5. Add features to scale on the map e.g. wooded areas, lakes etc.
  6. Add symbols to the map (these are not always to scale)
  7. Create a legend for the map.
  8. Color the map (use pencil crayon) to identify certain areas. Children should use the OS color scheme.
  9. Add accurate grid lines to the map and number them.
  10. Create a Roamer Scale for the map to give a six figure grid reference for where the a treasure is buried.

Once the map is completed students can give their island a name and compare their maps with a partner. They should self-assess how successful they have been at designing an island to scale.

Immersive Activity

Students will recreate their scale drawing of an island in Minecraft.

It may be helpful to start with one of these island seed worlds. To use a seed, create a new world, and type in the seed number below in Game Settings before clicking Create.

  • -513070979
  • 1177432349
  • -1164580755
  • 24517192

Students will work to remake the island that they have designed on paper to scale within the game.

Performance Expectations

Students are active participants in all activities.

Students are able to recognize an increasing range of symbols on maps.

Students are able to locate features on maps using six figure grid references.

Students are able to interpret maps using scale.

Students are able to recreate a scale map using Minecraft.

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

External References

Treasure Island World File

Treasure Island world in Minecraft to support lessons.

Supporting Files

Lesson Plans and Cross Curricular Resources


Lesson plan and additional resources.