Building Skills by Exploring Maps
Maps hold the promise of an adventure. And children really want to know how to read them. At the same time, they still need a lot of practice with the basic map skills of using latitude and longitude, locating places on a grid, estimating distances using scale, using indexes, and understanding common map symbols. This series uses age-appropriate maps to provide opportunities to practice these skills. Background information at the top of each page provides either more information about a map skill or interesting facts about the subject of the map.
The Wonderful thing about teaching children map skills is that they really want to know how to read maps. To children, maps are secret codes. Maps are keys to unknown places. Maps hold the promise of an adventure.
Map Skills: Grade 1 begins with maps that are still largely representational. The learning standards at this level are typically very simple. First graders must:
But first graders will become second and third graders who must know how to use the compass rose and the scale and how to find places on a grid. First graders can begin to use these tools, too. The key is to keep the lessons fun, exploratory and oral. The magic in a map is the possibility of new adventures. Conveniently, the skills covered in Map Skills: Grade 1 also transfer well to a standardized-testing situation.