The ability to read a map has long been an important skill that was passed from one generation to the other. We depended on our ability to read maps as we explored our surroundings and traveled the highways. Kids began learning the basics at a very early age, back in the day.
However, in a digital world that we live in, more children are growing without learning how to properly read real maps. Instead, they are relying on digital maps for anything map related, therefore, missing on learning a critical skill. Herein we are going to explore how to teach kids to read cartographical maps.
Teach The Basics First: The Words Used
The process of teaching kids to use maps can start at any age. However, for really young kids you probably should start teaching kids how to use real maps by acquainting them with the words used in the use of maps. Start by using basic words such as ‘farther,’ ‘near,’ ‘next,’ and any other simple word. Thereafter, move on to other complex words increasing the complexity with the passage of time.
Teach The Kids How To Use Typical Real Maps
At the age of seven, you can start to teach children how to use typical cartographical maps. At this stage, kids’ abstract thinking start to develop. Thus they can easily understand maps and what is represented on the map.
Use simple maps to introduce kids to the legend and the symbols used in typical maps. With regards to symbols, explain the meaning of typical symbols and how significant they are in accurately depicting spatial feature on maps. Thereafter, introduce kids to the concept of map direction and the use of the compass rose found on maps.
With the passage of time, you can move on to other bigger, detailed, and more complex maps to ensure that they are challenged in as far as learning to use maps is concerned. Eventually you can challenge them. Laminate a map of the United States and give them a write on-wipe off marker. Have them mark the trip from on are of the east coast to a destination on the west coast. It’s fun for them and for you as well. It’s also interesting to observe how they strategize their trip.