Learning how to use a map is an important part of any education. Map lesson plans are usually given to children in elementary school. Besides reading a map and being able to give and follow directions, making maps is another important skill. Learn how to make a 3-dimensional map and utilize it in an education map skills lesson plan.
Planning the 3-Dimensional Map
The first step in this map skill lesson plan is to decide what type of map you are going to make. You can make a map of an existing area, such as your town, but making a map of an imaginary place is easier for younger children.
To get the most education out of the 3-dimensional map, include as many types of landforms as possible. That does not mean you should have an unnatural display, as that will reduce the learning experience.
For this article, the map will have a small mountain range with a river and some fields on the other side.
Building the 3-Dimensional Map
When you are ready to build the map for this lesson plan, you need to gather the materials. You need cardboard, newspaper, white craft glue, and non-toxic paint for this project. You can also use toothpicks and paint brushes.
First, cut a piece of cardboard for the base of the map. Use a pencil or pen to indicate where the river and mountains will be. Now it is time to build up the land.
Cut out the corrugated cardboard in the shape of the base of the mountains and hills. Glue this to the base. Then, using slightly smaller pieces of cardboard each time, glue more layers on until you have a rough mountain or hill shape. The river, of course, should not be built up. This will give you the 3-dimensional basis for your map.
Once your cardboard model is complete, cover it with paper mache to smooth out the shapes. To make paper mache, rip the newspaper in strips and dip them in a solution of clear-drying craft glue and water. Lay them over the cardboard frame until you have smooth hills and mountains.
After the paper mache is dry, paint the 3-dimensional map. The river should be blue, the hills and fields green, and the mountains tops perhaps grey rock or even white with snow.
This map skills lesson plan now teaches your children how to label parts of the map. Have them design a map key with symbols for houses, woods, schools, hospitals, stores, and farms, or whatever other things you like. Cut out these symbols from the cardboard, paint them, and glue a toothpick to each one. The toothpick can be stuck through the paper mache map so the symbols can stand up.