Lesson Plan

Mapping Elements

This map lesson is the start of a 4 day unit on the elements of maps, including the key, the compass rose and looking for landmarks.
Linda B.
Classroom teacher
Redlands Adventist Academy
Redlands, United States
Show More
My Grades 1
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, Health & Wellness

Students will be able to...

  • Learn and identify the key elements on a map.
  • Understand and identify the cardinal directions on a compass rose.
  • Create a map of the classroom.
Social Studies
Grades 1
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Engage

1. Activate prior knowledge by questioning students on maps. For example who has heard of a map before? What does a map do? How do we know what a map is telling us? Create a K-W-L chart with the answers.

2. Teacher will begin the Brainpop Jr. movie “Reading Maps”.


3. Students will watch the movie.

2 Explore

Activity: Reading

1. In groups of 2-3, give students various maps to look at. Encourage students to identify the key, compass rose and landmarks on the maps. Remind students that all maps have these elements.

2. Allow students to freely observe the maps and find various items from the key.

3 Explain

Activity: Other — Filling in student Social Studies workbook"Our Community and Beyond"

1. Discuss with students maps and key terms in the textbook pages. Complete pages as per instructed.

2. Question students to reinforce key terms:

When we examine a map, what does it show us?

What parts do we look at? How do we know where to find landmarks?

3. Say “Lets look at our maps in our books and identify the key parts.” As we work, find and circle the key words as per the word bank.


Student Instructions

Students will complete pages verbally together but written work is individually in own books.

4 Elaborate

Activity: Creating

1. Students will create a map of the classroom using the butchers paper and classroom cut outs (handout pictures included- see below). Review elements of a map for students to remember to put in their map.

2. This is a group assignment and must include the key elements of a map.

3. Students will photograph and upload their map to the classroom photo library.



5 Evaluation

1. Observe and analyze student’s group maps.

2. Have each group move to a different group to evaluate the maps.

3. Students then come back together as a whole to discuss each map identifying if the maps all contain the elements of a map.

4. Students then re-watch the BrainpopJr movie on the iPads and, in their small groups, complete the quiz after the conclusion of the movie. This quiz is prompted at the end of the movie.

5. Review K-W-L chart and discuss the information learned.

Student Instructions

Students will use iPads to share their map creations on the class photo folders and use the BrainPop Jr app.