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Map Drawing Skills

By Mark Warner
Age Range: 5 to 11

At Key Stages 1 and 2, pupils are required to make maps and plans at a variety of scales. The following activities will give the children opportunities to do this:

1) Plan Views of Objects

Ask the children to draw plan views of normal classroom objects. This can be done by:

  • looking at the object from above and drawing what you can see, or...
  • placing the object on an overhead projector and drawing around the silhouette which is projected.

2) Classroom Map - KS2 (Ages 7 to 11)

Make a map of the classroom showing the layout of tables and chairs. For younger children, the next activity may be more appropriate.

3) Classroom Map - KS1 (Ages 5 to 7)

Make some rectangles out of card. The rectangles represent tables, so you will need to make enough rectangles for the number of tables in your classroom. Draw a basic outline of the shape of the classroom on a piece of paper, and ask the children to arrange the rectangles on the paper, so that they match where the tables are found in the classroom. You could also make other shapes to represent the board, computer, teacher's desk etc.

When the children have put the shapes into the correct space, they can draw around the shapes, and they will produce a map of the classroom.

4) Sign Posts

Ask the children to draw a sign post showing where things are in relation to where they are sitting. For example:

The arrows indicate the location of the objects / people in relation to the child (labelled "Me"). The length of the arrow indicates the distance between the child and the object / person. The children could make their sign posts more interesting by using pictures instead of words.

5) Aerial Photos

If you have any suitable aerial photographs, ask the children to try and draw a map for the area shown on the map. This can be done by simply looking at the photo, and reproducing the shapes onto paper, or by laying a piece of transparent film (OHP film) over the photo and tracing over the main shapes, using a suitable pen (which will not rub off).

Google Maps has an excellent aerial photo facility. If you have an interactive whiteboard, you could draw over the top of the map using the whiteboard pen tools. You could then compare this to the streetmap overlay, which Google provides.


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