Learn All Year Long
ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.
Where Are We? Learning to Read Maps
It used to be that when people wanted to know where someplace was or how to get there, they’d buy a paper map. And even though many people now use GPS systems or websites that provide directions, basic map-reading skills are still important for times when these resources are not available. This activity will help kids develop these skills by having them analyze the features found on a state map; locate—and estimate distances between—familiar landmarks on a local map; and research statistical information using an online atlas.
Even in an age when interactive maps and atlases are widely available, understanding how to read them is still a critical part of literacy. This activity gives children the tools they need to be able to use maps to glean all sorts of information about a place, from its physical features to its climate. This activity will incorporate both atlas map reading and online map reading, and it will also provide a connection to social studies by having kids locate landmarks in their communities, use a scale to figure out directions and distances, and also answer statistical questions about their state.