April 5 – Read a Road Map Day

Road Maps may become a thing of the past. With ever advancing technology the practical use for the “old-fashioned” map is falling by the wayside.

Maps were drawn by hand by cartographers. The first road map is said to have been drawn by John Ogilby in 1675. Here is what one of the pages looked like:

Britannia Atlas Newmarket to Wells and Bury Edmunds 1675
This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or fewer.

Map skills are important to have as they help us continue to develop our spatial thinking skills – In basic terms that means we visualize where objects, places, cities, and countries are in relation to one another. Maps help us figure out our place in the world.

Executive functioning tasks and spatial thinking are also directly correlated. As we navigate around our homes and classrooms organizing the tasks, paperwork, etc. we are thinking spatially. We think about our PHYSICAL SPACE.

Activity Idea: Have your learners draw a map of their room or the inside of your house. Depending on their age, will depend on how detailed the map.

GEOGRAPHY is also important to spatial thinking. Learning about, and recognizing the shapes and structures of the continents, globe, cities, etc., as well as studying agriculture and the world economy. Maps and how they organize the data of these topics help us with the spatial thinking associated with these geographical topics.

Activity Idea: Draw a basic map of your neighborhood. Older learners can map more to include your closest grocery store and favorite place to eat. Do you visit a park or museum often? Include that in the map.

We live in Southern California. As part of our schooling we “Disney school” – our activity for today is to draw a map of Disneyland from memory! Activity Idea: Challenge your older learners to complete this or a similar task.

We also use spatial thinking as we PROBLEM SOLVE. Reading a map is a skill that is definitely going to help with those skills! We also need to communicate the information on the map to others.

There is nothing like the REAL DEAL – get real maps, purchase them or visit your local AAA (if you are a member). Activity Idea: Plan an “field trip” to another town, or another state. Just putting the destination into the GPS is not the same thing for “Read a Map Day” !

Introduce the basics of Map skills with this Where in the World Am I Flip Book, available in my Teacher’s Pay Teachers Shop.

Below you can download the preview to see everything that is included.

Thanks for stopping by the Happy Hive.

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With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

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