Parts of a map

Parts of a map

I can name and use the parts of a map.

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Parts of a map

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Students learn to use a map’s title, the map key, and the compass rose to locate different areas on a map. They will practice identifying the different cardinal and intermediate directions.

Learning Objective

Students will be able to use keys and legends to identify several locations. They will be able to describe and use the different parts of a map.


Students discuss how they find their way around a new place. They may mention navigation apps, asking for directions, and using a map. Explain that maps have titles that will help you determine if the map will be useful for you.


Have students drag the map titles to the question it could answer. For example, a map titled “Average Rainfall in North America” would help you find out if there is a drought. Next, show students a compass rose with cardinal and intermediate directions. Students can use the phrase, “Never Eat Soggy Waffles” to remember the cardinal directions. Then students will drag directions to the correct position on a compass rose. Students will use a compass rose to answer questions about a map. After this, explain what a map key/legend is as well as an inset map and locator map. Explain how distance is measured on a map using a scale. Have students use the ruler to find distances on the map.


Check student understanding with ten multiple-choice questions in which they answer questions about reading a map.


Review the parts of a map then have students create an outline map of a state. Their maps should include the capital of the state, 4 cities, and a key with 4 symbols.

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About Gynzy

Gynzy is an online teaching platform for interactive whiteboards and displays in schools.

With a focus on elementary education, Gynzy’s Whiteboard, digital tools, and activities make it easy for teachers to save time building lessons, increase student engagement, and make classroom management more efficient.

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