This lesson and accompanying activity has students explore and create maps. After a lesson on the parts of a map, the students teamed up in pairs to create a treasure map of the school with a title, key, and compass rose. They then wrote up clear directions using the cardinal direction vocabulary (North, South, East, West, Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest) to successfully lead another group to a location where treasure was hid. After being given another group’s map and directions, they were successfully in finding the treasure.
This project closely aligned with the NYS Standards. This activity was aligned with the Grade 3 Content Understandings: the location of world communities. In this activity, students experimented with the spatial relationships of the school building and community and described it by direction and location. Students went even further to utilize various resources, such as Google maps and a floor plan of the school, to create their own maps and accompanying directions. Students had to establish their own key and title, while using their newly acquired knowledge and resources to orient the school in the correct way on their map.