All About Maps for Kids and Teachers
A map is a drawing. Its basic purpose is to show where things are. A map might show physical features such as a forest or a lake. It might show things that cannot be seen like a boundary line or the temperature outside. A map can show anything you want it to show. Most maps are flat. If a map is displayed on a round surface, it is called a globe map.
There are five major parts of a map.
- Map Title - This is important so you know what you're looking at
- Map Key - The key tells us what different symbols, colors, and lines on a map mean.
- Compass Rose - This shows us directions on a map. Example: north, south, east, west
- Scale - Scale shows what a distance on a map is actually equal to the distance on Earth. For example, a map might state 1" equals 1,000 miles. If something on that map is 6" long, that would equal 6 times 1,000 or 6,000 miles.
- Grid - These are the longitude and latitude lines.
The best way to understand what is on a map is to see one. Click on the links below.