10 – 12

Reading maps


Reading maps

What to do with this activity?

Learning how to read a map is an extremely useful skill that will benefit your child into the future. Wherever you travel, whether locally or further afield, you can learn to find your way together. Maps will also show you if there are any interesting things to visit nearby.

Have a look at this video which shows you the basics, or at this video which takes a broader view of maps.

Take a map with you when you go somewhere new, or follow your route online, for instance on Google Maps. If you are going by road, see what rivers you cross, or what towns and counties you go through. If you are lucky enough to fly, see what mountains and other features you can see out of the window.  If you are walking, the countryside or town will pass by at a much slower pace and you'll have more time to work out exactly where you are.

Learning to draw simple maps of places you know - for instance your child's school grounds, rooms you live in, your housing estate or home area  - will help your child to understand how a map is made.

  • Why am I doing this?

    It’s important to encourage whatever reading your child is doing at this age. Children have their own interests and hobbies so they will be more inclined to read information about these subjects. Having comics, papers or magazines around the house will make it easier for your child to get into reading. Your child might find it appealing to read online and you might like that the book can be read by an automated voice. E books can be looked at when you are on the move, making sure that your child is careful with your computer or phone.

  • How can I do more?

    Your child might like to read a section of the newspaper or a magazine – the sports, fashion or cooking sections - depending on their interests. They might like to read a short piece from a newspaper and underline facts with a pen and opinion with a pencil. You can then talk about the difference between fact and opinion (there are good examples in sports writing). Encourage your child to read instructions for mending bikes, building models and playing new games.

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