Map Skills Lesson Plan

A Geography Lesson for Primary Grades

Submitted by Rosanna Rizzo

Title: Map Skills


  1. Students will be able to define maps.
  2. Students will be able to explain the need for maps.
  3. Students will able to construct their own maps,
  4. Students will develop map skills and appreciate the value of hard work in constructing their own maps.

Aim: What do we use maps for?


  • colored pencils
  • poster boards


  • Ask the students to point to the objects that you name. For example: Where is the blackboard? Where is the teacher's desk? Where are the windows? Why do we need to know where things are located in the classroom? What if we close our eyes, do we still know where the windows are? Point to them.
  • Now have the students gather in front of you on the floor. Read a story about locating objects or about maps. For example, use Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney. Ask questions about the cover of the book. Pause as you are reading the book and ask questions about what they see or just heard.


  1. Discuss the main points and pictures in the book.
  2. Point out parts of the book that the children enjoyed or disliked.
  3. What they now know after reading the book and what else they would like to know about maps.
  4. Group the children in groups of three or four. However, this lesson can also be done individually.
  5. Explain that they will be constructing their own maps of the classroom.
  6. Discuss the concept of "a symbol" and a "map key". Show them where the map key would be located on a map. (Usually in a corner.)
  7. Have them construct a map of the classroom, complete with coloring their objects and labeling the objects they have drawn. These objects could include the blackboard, the door, the bookshelves, student desks, etc.
  1. To add an oral language component, you can have the students present their maps to their classmates and explain how they constructed their maps.
  2. The completed student maps make a great bulletin board display, especially for Back to School Night where the parents come visit the classroom.