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Map Skills in Geography at Key Stage 3

Price: £25.00
Age Range: KS3

Develop your students’ map skills at KS3. These lesson plans and worksheets introduce students to the full range of skills needed to work effectively with maps. Built-in assessment and homework activities make this pack an invaluable resource for all Geography teachers. Resources are suitable for Key Stage 3 students of mixed ability.

Topics include: Using scale; Using keys; Representing height; Giving grid references; Measuring distance; How to draw maps; Using symbols; Examining and using different types of maps.

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Size: 61 Pages
ISBN: 978 1 86025 250 1
Author(s): Graham Nicholson
Code: MSG3
Popularity rank: 42
Average Customer Review:  * * * * *  based on 3 reviews

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Contents List



  • 7 WHO NEEDS MAPS? This worksheet introduces maps and their uses by looking at different types of people who rely on maps - and seeing how they use them.
  • 9 THE MAKING OF MAPS This lesson plan explores the idea that a map is a miniaturised, stylised representation of reality, as students examine a number of examples and see how they were conceived and created.
  • 11 MENTAL MAPS Accurate maps rely on a clear conception of what is to be shown - as students demonstrate by creating practical maps themselves, and testing their effectiveness.
  • 13 SKETCH MAPS Map creation at its simplest is explored in this lesson where students create a series of progressively more complex sketch maps and see whether or not they work.
  • 15 THE KEY TO COLOUR This worksheet looks at the use of colour and keys in maps, with students demonstrating their understanding of the concept by creating a number of keys using colour and shading.
  • 17 KEEPING TO SCALE Students explore the idea of scale - how actual situations may be represented on paper, with the correct proportions preserved. A number of enjoyable practical exercises underline the fundamental importance of this concept.
  • 19 DIRECTIONS TO WORK The idea of a map as a series of directions is explored, with students looking at various examples, and then creating more and more complicated direction lists themselves.
  • 21 CLASH OF SYMBOLS How maps use symbols and what different symbols can mean. The importance of continuity in the use of symbols is also shown as students create practical examples.


  • 23 TREASURE MAPS This worksheet introduces the practical use of maps as students follow directions to unearth the treasure - and then have a go at creating a treasure map of their own.
  • 25 MAPS ON HOLIDAY A practical lesson plan in using maps to plan a holiday - from the overall itinerary, to finding your way from the airport to the hotel.
  • 27 GET CO-ORDINATED! The concept of co-ordinates is introduced in this lesson. Students examine several examples - and then have a go at using co-ordinates themselves to specify particular map locations.
  • 29 GRID REFERENCES - FOUR FIGURES This basic tool of map reference is explored through a series of practical exercises and location-spotting activities which students try out on one another.
  • 31 GRID REFERENCES - SIX FIGURES The more sophisticated six-figure system of reference is explored through a series of practical exercises and problem-solving scenarios.
  • 33 ORIENTEERING The skills learned in previous lessons are tested by this practical exercise in the use of maps, grid references and compass.
  • 35 CAVE MAPS Examines maps of cave systems and drainage tunnels, where visible references are few and far between.
  • 37 STAR MAPS Students explore the practicalities and benefits of mapping the sky - not only to plot the position of the stars, but also our own position on Earth.


  • 39 MAP STORIES The first real-world map that students encounter is put to the test in a series of exploratory exercises.
  • 41 GOT THE A to Z? The conventions, advantages, and limitations of city maps are examined as students undertake a number of practical exercises using an A to Z.
  • 43 TOPOLOGICAL MAPS An example of a topological map is examined in this lesson plan, after which students create their own examples of accurate topological maps.
  • 45 MILES OF HOURS Time and distance maps are explored using the example of railway maps, with students showing their understanding by creating a railway map of their own.
  • 47 LET'S GET PHYSICAL Students look at physical maps, and then create a practical example of their own.
  • 49 GOING UNDERGROUND Examines how geologists use maps to show sub-surface strata, with practical examples. Students then test their understanding of geological maps through a series of interactive exercises.
  • 51 MAPPING THE WORLD Students discover how maps in atlases are created, using various different projections. The limitations of projection are explored as students attempt to create atlas-style maps of their own.
  • 53 MONEY MAPS Students see how economic maps work as they examine a number of examples, and then have a try at creating an economic map of their own local area.
  • 55 BY AIR AND SEA Students learn to consider the Earth as three dimensional through examining air and sea routes and the factors which affect such journeys.
  • 57 ALL CHANGE Students examine the London Underground map, and test their understanding of it by planning a series of increasingly complex routes.
  • 59 WEATHER REPORT The weather exists independently of maps - but they are vital to track its progress, as students discover in this practical lesson.
  • 61 COUNTRY MAPS Students consider the nature of political maps and plot recent changes to the map of Europe.

Additional Resources: Online Assessment

Preview tests forRocks andCoasts delivered via our Yacapaca assessment system.

These tests are part of a larger assessment resource which can be foundhere.



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Name and school withheld.

good - used for revision with my class
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Name and school withheld.

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Anna Gunby at Geographical Association

....finds a welcome place in the resource cupboard, and not only to be resorted to on rainy afternoons!
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Anna Gunby at Geographical Association

30 sheets covering an impressive range of topics... offers good value for this kind of pack.
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