Making Maps

05 November 2011
If I wasn't convinced before, I definitely am now ... Halloween candy should be banned at school!  Add two days of indoor recesses to that (and my progress reports being due), and WOW - what a week!  Needless to say, I've had to keep them super busy all week - any unstructured time would lead to chaos!

The students finished one of my favourite projects this week - Making Maps.  I LOVE how they turned out (and my students are so proud of their work, too).  I always do these maps as our first social studies unit (Mapping Skills) every year.  I alternate between World Maps one year, and Canada maps the next year.  That way, when I have a group of two students for two years in a row (I always have a split grade), they're not doing the same map twice.  They have to draw these maps freehand - using an atlas as a reference (because the maps are sketched, I can get a visual arts mark and a social studies mark).  They then label the provinces, capital cities, and major water bodies.  They must use the index in the atlas to look up the rivers and smaller water bodies.  So many skills packed into one assignment.  The day after the maps were due, I had a map quiz where the students had to label the provinces, capitals, and major water bodies.  It's actually a grade 4 expectation in our curriculum, but still a necessary review for my students.

If you're interested, I have this project listed at my TPT store - it includes a list of instructions for both the World Map and the Canada Map, as well as rubrics for both.

Happy Saturday!


  1. Jen, I love this...and am currently teaching Grade you think they could handle it?
    Thinking of Teaching

  2. Beth - I think they probably could - this is my second time doing it with 5th graders - in fact, the second picture is from a 5th grader. Almost all my students did really well - I did have to help a bit with the outline around the great lakes for some of them, and had to formally teach how to use the atlas. I always post an example (that I kept from previous years), and the students find this really helpful. You could enlarge one of the pictures above to give your students a reference.

  3. This brought back SUCH great memories of my map making days in 5th and 6th grade. We studied all of the states and colored them and added rivers and mountain ranges and then we added capitols and state bird and flower . . . makes me miss my grade school . . . .that's a crazy powerful feeling right now. Thanks, Jen


  4. Thank-YOU, Barbara! I'm just glad my students only have 13 provinces and territories to memorize ... you'd think it would be an easy task ... ;)

  5. The maps are gorgeous! And thanks for sharing your projects on TPT. Very helpful!

    We made a British Columbia map last year (since that's the part of Canada that we have visited.) Hoping to do more as we visit more provinces!