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Teaching Map Skills: Starting Out Stage

Map skills are not just about knowledge of the world around us. They are also integral for daily life. In this world of Google, GPS on our phones, and digital everything, it is important to be intentional about teaching map skills.

Map Skills for All Ages

There are some map skills that can and should be taught at any age or stage! Using these general ideas and concepts, you can tailor complexity to match the age of your child.

Map Types

Learn the difference between the various types of maps:

– Political
– Physical
– Economic
– Topographic
– Climatic

– Thematic
– Road
– Historic
– Globes

Map Language

Learn about a map legend, symbols used on a map, scale, and the compass. Also, contemplate the challenge of and solutions for translating information from a globe to a flat page.

Following a Map

Learn how to follow a map, whether it is a simple backyard treasure map or a road map utilized for a family road trip.

Tips for the Starting Out Stage

Preschool - 1st Grade

In these earliest years, it is important to keep map learning simple and fun, introducing map concepts through projects and real life activities. Here are a few ideas:

  • Cut posterboard to scale to match a room in your house. Cut smaller pieces of card stock to match pieces of furniture. Have your child place the card stock pieces in the correct locations to create a map of the room.
  • Enjoy a treasure hunt! Create a simple map of your house or backyard. Hide a treat in a secret location marked on the map, then have your child follow the map to the treat.
  • Keep an atlas, simple markable map, or inflatable globe handy when reading a new reader or read aloud. Find the locations mentioned in the story.
  • Teach basic compass directions.
  • Mark a world map with your home location and the location of missionaries or unreached people groups your family is praying for.
  • Show how to distinguish between land and water on a map.

With five kids in their teen and early adult years, Rebecca shares the many ups and downs of parenting, homeschooling, and keeping it all together. As the Well Planned Gal she mentors women towards the goal of discovering the uniqueness Christ has created in them and their family and how to best organize and plan for the journey they will travel.

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