Grade: Elementary

#2062. Maps In Our Everyday Lives

Social Studies, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Dec 5 06:46:31 PST 2000 by Joanna Santilli (
Student/Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
Materials Required: 25 maps of hometown, world maps, state maps, books, computer, paper, markers, crayons, etc.
Activity Time: 1 1/2 hours
Concepts Taught: The relevance of maps in children's lives.


TOPIC: Maps in our Everyday lives

This lesson is part of a unit dealing with the zoo.

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the use of maps using a zoo and its different areas
to model the different characteristics of a map. All of the different map symbols and designs are
discussed throughout the lesson. Students will investigate different types of maps using the setup of the
zoo through hands-on activities and class discussion.

Students have sufficient background knowledge for this lesson. The students are very familiar with
zoos, which will make the activities with the map a little easier. Students have background experience
working in learning groups.

Lesson Objectives:
1. TLW identify the different symbols on a map as well as their meanings.

PI: After a class discussion about maps and their different parts, students will break into groups and
use their acquired information to complete a chart about information on maps of their hometown.

2. TLW orally describe the way that zoos they have visited are setup and the different parts that they

PI: Students will conduct an investigation into the areas that most zoos have using books and the
` Internet as well as their own experiences. Working in small groups, the students research the
zoos and share their findings. The students will then create a class list of the most common
areas found in a zoo.

3. TLW summarize his/her results of research using an art activity.

PI: After the students have shared their findings with the entire class, they will again break into their
small groups to create a zoo of their own. Students will first decide on a plan and then each
student in the group will take part in the creation of a physical map of the zoo. Students will
map out the zoo using the knowledge they have acquired from the lesson.


25 maps of hometown
world maps
state maps
five work stations
construction paper
markers,colored pencils/charcoal, etc.


Maps are very useful tools in society, not only in everyday life to find directions, but also in researching
different parts of the world.
Zoos are places, which house many different animals as well as many different areas common to
everyday life.
The relevance of maps in children's lives.


First, start off the lesson by asking the children to think of different characteristics of different
maps that they have seen.
"What kind of ways are maps used in our every day life?" Have the children take five minutes, in
small groups to list four or five ways that maps are used.
Hand out maps of the hometown.
Explain many different symbols on the map distinguishing between the different characteristics.
Have the children brainstorm to find different areas most typically found in a zoo.
Have the children work in small groups to create an imaginary zoo of their own.
The children will need to map the zoo out, two-dimensionally, on the provided paper.


Using all of the class data collected during the investigation, a "cloud" is made on the dry erase board to
illustrate the findings of each group. A learning center is created about maps and our creative zoos will be
displayed there.
Again, stress to the students the inportance of maps in today's society, not only to give directions either!
Work out small groups or form a large group in order to share their ideas with the entire class to benefit


Zoos are places that children are probably very familiar with at a young age so they are easy to
Maps are very important tools that can be used in our everyday lives.
Sometimes people, even adults, don't realize the extent that maps are used. Some assume that maps are
used just for traveling in the car, not giving any consideration to any other uses of map in our lives.
Hopefully, this lesson will help children understand maps more as well as teach them different uses of
different kinds of maps as well as developing an appreciation for maps.

For more information on this activity click here.