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Students will use a whiteboard and a drawing of the space to practice moving objects around in order to match the map, or make adjustments to the map in order to match the objects. They will also identify objects based on symbols in each case.


  • Spatial awareness

  • Symbols

  • Map reading

  • Communication

  • Relative positioning


  • 8-12 Objects

    • 3-4 different kinds

      • Chairs

      • Cones

      • Hula hoops

      • Poly spots

  • Whiteboard

  • Markers

  • Open space


The purpose of this lesson is to practice reading a simple map, seeing how the map relates to the objects around us, and learning how changing our environment will also affect the map.


(Active) Simon Says - A game of Simon Says with all the normal rules, expect the actions you ask the students to do are much more active. For example, "Simon says jump up and down. Simon says lie on your stomach. Simon says run to that wall." The more the kids move around, the better.


Map Maker - Students use a whiteboard map to practice reading symbols, understanding the relationship between real life and the map, and seeing how the map changes depending on where objects are in real life.


Symbols :

  • What is a symbol? What do symbols do, and how do they work? 

  • What type of object did each symbol represent?

  • Did some of the symbols resemble their objects? Did any symbols look completely different from their objects?

  • How did you remember which object matched each symbol?

  • What are other ways to draw symbols (other than shapes)? Can we use color? Words? Can students think of symbols they see in everyday life?


  • How could you tell if an object was in the correct place?

  • What made it difficult/easy to figure out where an object should go?

  • Why might it be confusing trying to distinguish one object from another? 


Tri-O: A variation of Grid-O from British Orienteering. Each row of the grid is made with a different color of cones. This helps the students identify where they should look for the next checkpoint on every course.


This activity works best in a group of 4-10 students. If you have more students than that, consider breaking the class in half. The other half may play the Tri-O game with a support staff while you conduct the main activity.

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