Using a map

Learning outcome

To use a map to find identified places.

Key Stubbington focus

Wayfinding - mapping

  • For Key Stage 2
  • Duration 1 hour
Success criteria
  • I can use a key to recognise landscape features
  • I can orientate a map
  • I can use features to identify where I am
  • I can use my map to help me travel to a point
Session plan

Introduction approximately 10 minutes

In your classroom get the children into pairs. Give them a clipboard, worksheet and pencil. Remind them to put their names on the sheet.

Discuss the key elements of the map, how to use the key, how to orientate a map, how to plan a route, what to do if they become lost (go back to classroom base or a building they know and work out where they are from there.)

Using the acronym LOST, might be a useful teaching guide.

  • L = locate your place on the map
  • O = orientate the map
  • S = search for the place you need to get to
  • T = travel - trace a line with your finger from where you are to where you want to go. Continue moving your finger in the same direction until it is pointing at the landscape around you. Travel in that direction.

Explain to the children that they are going to use the map to find the location of ten blue tags.

Show them the blue tag in the mapping box. They are marked on their maps by numbers within squares.

Main approximately 40 minutes

Give each pair a start number so that they are not all going to the same place!

In their pairs, they will run to find the blue tag and write down the word that is written on the back. Once they have done this, they must run back to the classroom where you will mark their answer using the answer sheet and then give them another tag number to find.

Repeat this process until a pair has managed to find all ten tags, or until 10 minutes before the end of the lesson.

If a pair does more than one tag in a go, penalise them 5 mins per additional tag done before releasing them again.

10 minutes before the end of the lesson

Do not send any more pairs out to find tags 10 mins from the end of the lesson.

Start counting your children back in as they return, and find out who your winners are (the pair with the most correct answers). Let one of the Education Team know who the winners are so that they can organise prizes.

Plenary approximately 10 minutes

Discuss what has been learnt about following a map. Make a list of helpful map reading hints.

Less able children

An adult to help them orientate their map, use the key and walk with them until it is felt they can have a go by themselves.

More able children

  • Those children who finish early can choose a bird from the tags they found to draw and research using books from the ‘birds’ box in the classroom
  • On the map, label significant landmarks you used to help find your way

Previsit activities

  • Simple map work
  • Using a key

Follow up activities

  • Giving directions to get to a tag
  • Children to create similar activity for a known area - this could involve drawing a map and/or marking the location of tags on a map
Health and safety checks
  • Ensure that children remain with their partners
  • Tell the children they are not allowed to go through Earthquake zone or Badgerland
  • Stay away from the ponds
  • Don’t go into any buildings
  • Stay off the car park