Making a Map

Map-making and orienteering can be fun outdoor activities and are great skills to learn.
Map-making and orienteering can be fun outdoor activities and are great skills to learn.

Learn to create your own map then use it to guide a friend or family member!

You will need:                      

  • paper
  • something to write/draw with (pencil, markers, pencil crayons, or crayons)

Let's go!

  1. Think about the neighbourhood you live in. Can you picture a landmark that you know well? Maybe it’s your school, a grocery store, or even a friend or relative’s house. Pick something that is a short walking distance away from your house. Have your parent or guardian that is assisting you do the same.
  2. With your parent or guardian, take a walk to that landmark, taking notes of how many turns you take to get there, how many streets there are between you and the landmark, things you see along the way such as stop signs or other buildings. Then take a walk to the landmark that your parent or guardian chose and get them to take notes about their route too.
  3. When you think you know the route well, head back home. Take out your ruler, pencil and sheet of paper. Draw the streets or roads between your house and the landmark. Have your parent or guardian do the same on their sheet of paper for their chosen landmark.
  4. Next, draw a house that will represent your house on your map. Your parent or guardian will draw a house in the same spot as yours because you are both using your house as a starting point.
  5. Then draw the landmark that you chose to navigate to on your map. Have your parent or guardian do the same and draw the landmark that they chose.
  6. Then fill in both of your maps with other things you saw along the way such as stores, schools, other buildings, traffic lights etc.
  7. Make sure to write the names of the streets on your maps.
  8. On the bottom left corner of your map, you need to draw a cross with the cardinal directions (North, South, East, West) on it so people who read your map will know which direction to point your map.
  9. On the back of your map, write out the directions to get to the landmark you chose. Have your parent or guardian do the same. (For example, Go North on James Street for three blocks, turn West on Grove Street then go South on Parker Ave). You should try and use the cardinal directions in your description so that you get to know which direction is North and South etc. in your city.
  10. Now trade maps with your parent or guardian and navigate with the directions they drew on their map and try to see if you can get to their landmark. Have them do the same and try to get to your landmark.

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