Map It Out!

Social Studies Activity

In this activity, students will make a class map that shows the routes students take when they travel from home to school.


  1. Explain to the class that for homework they will be making a large map that shows the route they travel from home to school. These routes can be walking or bus routes, whichever students prefer.

  2. Before students begin their maps, suggest that they bring a small notebook and a pencil with them on their next walk or bus trip from home to school. Encourage them to jot down the names of important streets along the way and to add landmarks such as parks, stores, and fire and police stations. Have students keep in mind that their maps should be simple. Too much detail might be confusing.

  3. After completing the map, have students mark the route from home to school with a colored line, add a compass rose to show directions, and draw a map key that shows what any symbols mean.

  4. Before bringing the map to school, have each student show it to a friend or relative and ask them to describe the route out loud. An example might be "Go west when you leave your house. Walk a block past the park, etc." Students might find out at this step that they may have to make some modifications.

  5. When all the maps are complete, have students use their individual maps along with a town or city map to create one large class map that shows each student's route from home to school. Remind students to include a compass rose and a map key. Display the map on a bulletin board and use it to teach map skills. Students will have more fun practicing this skill when they recognize places on the map.


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