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Map Scale Activity

map scale activity


The first portion of this lesson teaches the names
and locations of the continents. Students will
construct their own map of the world by coloring, cutting, and gluing continents, ocean labels, and a
map compass.

The second portion of the lesson teaches map
scale. Students will be selecting a map of their
choice from a social studies textbook and using
the map’s scale to convert map distances into
“real life” distances.


  • Continent sheets, pages 115-117 (1 set per student)

  • Crayons (1 box per student)

  • Scissors (1 per student)

  • 12" x 18" construction paper (1 per student)

  • Dark markers or pens (1 per student)

  • Rulers (1 per student)

  • Social studies textbooks with multiple maps with scales (1 per student)

  • Overhead transparency of a map from the social studies textbook (for the teacher).

  • A blank overhead transparency (for the teacher)

  • Note cards (1 per student)

  • The completed project prepared by the teacher before the lesson

Creating a Map of the World

Each student starts by folding a 12” x 18” construction paper in half twice. After unfolding the paper, each student uses a dark marker and ruler to draw lines on top of the fold marks. These lines will form the equator and prime meridian of each student’s map.

map scale 2

Students should color the continents (page 115-117) before cutting them out. Cutting along the wiggly boarders may prove difficult, so tell students to work slowly and patiently. The teacher should hang a previously constructed map at the front of the room so students know where on their construction paper to glue the continents, ocean labels, and compass. Students should consult with the teacher before applying glue.

Get the entire lesson!
activity book