Neighbourhood Maps

Before schools were closed in response to the COVID-19 virus, my class and I had almost finished the unit on Communities. We had explored mapping and had competed a number of tasks. Unfortunately I am unable to introduce them to the final activity that I had planned for the class but I did come up with an alternative.

Using the Google Maps application, I encouraged them to explore the aerial view of their neighbourhood (we had explored the school’s neighbourhood in class). Once that was done, I asked them to to draw a two block radius of their own neighbourhood using Google Maps as a reference. When assigning the task, I listed the success criteria for them so that they would know my expectations. The task was a perfect way for them to put into practice what we had been learning in class.

The children have done a magnificent job. Here is a section of the first submission I received:

I could see that the student had spent a long time on the task and that she had replicated her neighbourhood block accurately. Another student did not draw her immediate surrounding area but instead chose a block that was more interesting to draw:

I love that she coloured it in so beautifully and her legend showed a knowledge of the area. My favourite aerial map submitted took the student over a week to draw:

Her map followed all of the success criteria and shows an excellent understanding of mapping. If we were in the classroom, her map would have been pinned to the board outside:

I am currently thinking of another long-term assignment that my students can work on. Next week is an oral one – but the week after? I am not sure yet.

Do you often use the Google Maps application?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. During the month of April, we are challenged to share photos featuring #squaretops)

17 thoughts on “Neighbourhood Maps

  1. Your students did an excellent job! We also do a unit on communities and wrap it up with a walking tour of our own town including a trip to the police station and local museum. We’ve never used Google Maps but I’m certainly going to suggest it. What a great way for them to get a visual idea of the area.


    1. We usually do a community walkabout as well but it was not possible this year.
      I recommend adding the exploration of Google Maps to your unit. The app is free to download on the mobile devices and the children enjoy exploring the streets from above.


  2. We have people come to our house from the other side of the world who have already seen our house on Google Earth. I think it was comforting to see where they we’re going. Lovely project thanks for sharing.


  3. These student drawn maps are amazing! Makes me smile just looking at all the details that went into each one. I’ve drawn quite a few myself, over the years of different things, like our neighborhood when I was a kid, and also houses I’ve lived in, and grocery store layouts. So much fun. 🙂


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