An Introductory Lesson on Maps

Compiled By Jeri Dawn Beddes McKellar of Utah State University



Grade Level: 1st-2nd

Objectives: The students will be able to identify what a map is. The students will be able to draw their own map using a simplified overhead view.



Anticipatory Set: Ask the students how they get to school every day. How does the bus driver, parent, etc. know how to get to the school? Allow for ideas.

Establishing Context: Explain that a lot of people have to have something that will show them how to get from one place to another. A bus driver has to have something to tell him/her which kids to pick up, where they live, and how to go about picking them all up. Parents have to have something to show them where to go when they decide to go on vacation. Sometimes we even need something to tell us what specific items are in a room, or what rooms are in a building, or where to go in case of a fire.

State Objective: Explain to the children that we are going to talk about maps in this lesson. They will learn what a map is and by the end of the lesson they'll even be able to draw their own map.

Guide Learning:


Some students may need extra help drawing their maps. Help students by actually having them see the objects from the top. If necessary, allow them to stand on their chair or desk to see something from an overhead view. Allow the students to discuss their ideas and help each other. Encourage children to enlist the help of their family to draw their room maps. Do not force all children to share. You may allow for other options such as writing about the map or telling their parents about it. Those who are further ahead may even catch on to the concept of symbols without it being discussed. Encourage them to use symbols, but have them find some way to explain their symbols so others can tell what they represent.


The teacher will be able to assess the students learning by the maps they draw. Were they able to draw a full map? Did they us a simple overhead view? You may expecially check for understanding as they share their maps. Show examples of maps and non-examples of maps. Do the children know the difference?

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