Maps are used for lots of different reasons; they are a good way of conveying information about where places are in relation to each other.
Humans have made maps for thousands of years, and today we can carry a map of the whole world in a phone!
Teach your children about maps using our handy topic guide!
- Create a map of a fictional place or journey.
- Use our maps challenges resources to investigate information shown on maps.
- Look at the building you are in on Google maps. Use that outline to draw a map of the area, showing the rooms inside the building too.
- Ask children to draw a signpost showing where things are in relation to where they are sitting. This post explains in more detail and gives other ideas for developing map drawing skills.
- Watch the video on this BBC page and give the children a range of real-life maps to explore and discuss.
- Gather packaging from a range of fresh foods, and mark on a map where they have come from. How far have they travelled? How do you think they were transported?
- Use an online map to show your journey to school. Are there any other ways that you could travel to school?
- Write a story with a treasure map in it.
- A map is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional space, either on a flat surface such as paper, or on a screen.
- Maps are drawn from a bird’s-eye view, meaning that they are drawn as if the person making the map is looking down on the space from above.
- Because a map is always smaller than the area it represents, a scale must be used to fit on the paper or screen. For example, on an Ordnance Survey map, 4cm represents 1km.
- The Mappa Mundi, a famous medieval map, has a unicorn on it.
- Chinese astronomers were creating star maps around 5,000 years ago.
Cardinal Directions Song
A fun song to introduce the points of the compass to younger learners.
Running Time: 2:16
Geography | KS1 | KS2 | Maps
This BBC video is a great introduction to maps.
Running Time: 2:59
Using a compass and reading maps
Mr Measure and his soon follow the instructions on a map. This video is perfect for looking at the points of the compass.
Running time: 4:03
Understanding a MAP & MAP SYMBOLS
A great video to use when looking at map symbols.
Running Time: 3:59
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!