Lesson Plan

Learning About Maps

From the compass rose to the map key, first grade students will learn about three characteristics that make up a map. Symbols are used on maps too, as students practice what they can do!
Download lesson plan
View aligned standards

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify the compass rose, symbols, and the map key as three different characteristics of maps.


(10 minutes)
Compass RoseMini PosterTown MapReading a MapUsing a Map KeyBuild a City
  • Show students a map and ask them to identify what it is and what it is used for. Repeat while holding up the handouts of the compass rose, mini poster symbols, and map key. Be sure to cover the name of each with sticky notes to reveal at a later time.
  • After students share their thoughts, take off the sticky notes to reveal each map tool’s name. Display each picture for the students to refer to.
  • Tell students that for today’s lesson they will learn the purpose of all three map tools, and how they are used on a map.