Geography topics for you to learn and enjoy

Map skills for 5-7 year olds

Map skills

  • Follow directions in the classroom and around the school.

  • Follow a route using a plan.

  • Recognise simple symbols and identify using a key.

  • Play simple games involving the 4 main compass points.

 

Using an atlas

  • Know what an atlas is and understand how to use it.

 

Aerial photos

  • Recognise the difference between a map of an area and an aerial photograph of the same place.

 

The earth’s surface

  • Recognise that the world is round by using a globe to find a country on the other side of the world.

 

Mark on a map

  • On a world map – recognise where their home country is and one country that they have studied.

Having listened to a story told by the teacher of an adventure on a treasure island, can the pupils create treasure island maps of their own that help tell a story?

Creating maps to display information

  • Make a representation of a real or an imaginary place

  • Draw on a world map how they would travel from one country to another by plane and by boat. 

Geography topics for you to learn and enjoy

Map skills for 7-9 year olds

Map skills

  • Give compass directions

  • Use letter/number co-ordinates to locate features on a map

  • Use a large-scale map to locate their own position and features outside the classroom.

  • Make a map of a short route, showing features in the order.

  • Identify symbols using a key.

  • Devise suitable symbols for use on a map.

  • Identify significant lines of longitude and latitude and mark them on a map.

 

Using an atlas

  • Using an atlas, identify the countries and seas that border on to the UK (home country).

  • Use an atlas to locate and name countries and their capital cities.

  • Use an online atlas to print their journey from home to school.

 

Aerial photographs

  • Identify features on aerial photographs.

  • Use an atlas to identify key geographical features.

 

Landscape sketches

  • Draw a sketch of a landscape and label the key geographic features.

  • Use geographic vocabulary to describe the landscape.

 

The earth’s surface

  • Recognise that the earth’s surface is moving and that it has evolved over a period of millions of years.

 

 

Can the pupils use an online mapping software to print their journey from home to school and then mark on their map an alternative route that would use carpooling or public transport?

Mark on a map

  • Mark on a map of the local area the location of their school.

  • Identify the UK (home country) on a world map and a map of Europe (home continent).

  • Mark on a map the location of the major cities / major rivers of the United Kingdom (home country).

  • Mark on a world map the location of major deserts / rivers / mountain ranges.

  • Recognise on a map of Europe the countries of the EU.

  • Identify, locate and name key features of different countries studied.

 

Interpreting maps

  • Explain why different locations make popular holiday destinations.

 

Creating maps to display information

  • Create an illustrated map to show where (animals/industry/people) live.

  • Create a land-use map by colour shading a map of the local area to indicate residential and commercial/industrial areas.

  • Create a map to show key imports and exports with the locations of the originating countries.

  • Create an infographic explaining where food has come from and the environmental impact of that food.

What features are included on maps and which ones are ommitted? What symbols would you design to represent the features listed above? 

Map skills for 9-11 year olds

Map skills

  • Use four-figure co-ordinates to locate features on a map

  • Measure the straight line distance between two points on a plan

  • Measure curved line distance between two points

 

Using an atlas

  • Use the index and contents pages to find information in an atlas.

  • Identify countries from their outlines.

 

Aerial photos

  • Identify features on both a large-scale map and on a vertical air photograph of the same place

 

Landscape sketches

  • Make a labelled landscape sketch of an area visited on a field trip. 

 

The earth’s surface

  • Demonstrate an awareness that the globe can be represented as a flat surface.

 

Mark on a map

  • Identify, name and locate on a map the continents of the world.

  • Locate major islands on a map.

 

 

Interpreting maps

  • Interpret relief maps

  • Interpret weather maps.

  • Extract information from thematic maps which show distribution patterns.

  • Research why industries location moves over time.

  • Select most appropriate route on a map for a given task and give directions for route.

  • Link areas of high land with rainfall.

 

Creating maps to display information

  • Draw a sketch map using symbols and a key.

  • Know how height can be indicated on a map. Create maps with layer shading to indicate height.

  • Create a map to show land that will be flooded by global warming.

  • Locate and name countries on maps with their capital cities.

  • Make a map showing the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes.

  • Make a pictorial map of the home country with rivers and mountains on.

  • Design an itinerary of places wish to visit with route and modes of transport. 

Map skills for 11-13 year olds

Map skills

  • Use six-figure grid references to locate features on Ordnance Survey maps.

  • Draw a long profile of a river from source to mouth.

  • Locate features on a map using lines of longitude and latitude.

  • Give directions on a map using bearings and a compass.

 

Aerial photos

  • On an aerial photo of a river and its flood plain, mark and name different features of a flood plain.

 

Landscape sketches

  • Draw, from a 1:50,000or a 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey map, an annotated sketch map showing relationships between human and physical features.

 

 

Interpreting maps

  • Use maps as an aid to making decisions about locations.

  • Follow a route on a 1:50,000 or 1:25,000 Ordnance survey map and describe the features which would be seen.

  • Use maps of appropriate scales to plan routes and measure their distances.

 

Creating maps to display information

  • Drawing a choropleth map.

  • Drawing an isopleth map.

  • Create thematic maps.

  • Draw an accurate cross-section outside the classroom to record and interpret a landscape.

  • Draw flow line graphs.

Can the pupils read the shape of the land and identify landscape features from looking at contour lines?

Map skills for 13-16 year olds

Aerial photos

  • Use satellite images to identify patterns in physical and human geography

 

Landscape sketches

  • Synthesise information from different map sources to produce a sketch map which identifies important geographical features and reveals spatial patterns and associations within an area.

 

Interpreting maps

  • Interpret synoptic charts and images of cloud patterns obtained from weather satellites.

  • Interpret topologically transformed maps

  • Interpret and identify geographical relationships between variables

  • Explain the factors which influence the choice of map projections for specific purposes.

  • Interpret relief, land-use, settlement and transport patterns from topographical maps.

Creating maps to display information

  • Drawing a choropleth map.

  • Drawing an isopleth map.

  • Create thematic maps.

  • Draw an accurate cross-section outside the classroom to record and interpret a landscape.

  • Draw flow line graphs.

Using maps from previous periods, can the pupils elicit how a settlement grew and what factors influenced the growth of the settlement?

Here is a comprehensive list of map skills that you will encounter when teaching and learning Geography. They are grouped according to their type and the age that you would be expected to learn them in a UK school. Some of the skills are related to reading and understanding maps whilst others look at creating and interpreting maps. Consideration has also been given to the fact that a lot of maps used by adults today are online, digital versions. 

GEOGRAPHY SKILLS - MAP SKILLS