In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about reading maps. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Reading Maps topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Reading Maps
Have students read a map and give directions. For example, you can ask your children to find the cafeteria and then student volunteers can give specific directions on how to walk to the cafeteria. Remind your children to use clear language in their directions and use the cardinal directions as well as words like left, right, straight, and turn. You can also have your children write or give directions to a secret location on a map. Then other students can follow the directions to see if they arrive at the correct location.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Reading Maps
Together with your child, find a simple map of your hometown. You can find one on the Internet or get one from your local library, automobile association, or gas station. Help your child find your home on the map. Then help him or her find homes of family members, friends, and town landmarks such as the library, school, park, or community center. Discuss different symbols on the map and help him or her use the scale to measure distances between different locations.
Have your child make a treasure map. He or she can hide an object in the park, home, or backyard and create a map that leads to the treasure. Help him or her create a compass and a map key for the map. Then give the map to a friend or family member to look for the treasure. You can also make a treasure map for your child to use to find the treasure in order to practice his or her map reading skills.