After students have learned about the most common elements of maps (date, orientation, grid, scale, title, author, index, legend, source) and are comfortable reading and using the elements, an effective culminating activity is for students to create their own map of a real or imagined neighborhood. Students usually love this activity as they are able to design their "dream neighborhood" and include their interests and creativity while also showing they understand the use and purposes of the elements of maps.
Neighborhood Map Project – Directions (version 1 – To earn an A or B all 9 map elements must be included
Neighborhood Map Project – Directions (version 2 – modified expectations)
Neighborhood Map framework (with gridlines drawn)
Neighborhood Map framework (version 2 – with space for all 9 map elements)
4 Sample student maps
National Geography Standards:
Standard 1: How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.
Standard 4: The physical and human characteristics of places.
Check out these additional mapping/geography from Set Course with Mrs Rutters:
Physical Geography Crossword Puzzle (w/ answer key)
Longitude/ Latitude Practice - Based on TV show Survivor with critical thinking prompts and answer keys
Middle East Mapping (make a political map and a physical map of the Middle East)