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Mapping a Garden

Subject: Geography
Grade: K-2

Brief Description

The purpose of this lesson is to have the students gain an understanding of maps. The students learn the components of a map, particularly the legend, the key, the symbols and the area. The students develop their own map of a garden they will be planting in an upcoming science lesson. The students have background knowledge in mapping from exposure to maps in previous lessons.



  • follow an oral tutorial given by the teacher on maps and their components, and a viewing of various example maps and their components, grade 2 students will correctly identify by oral response, with 100% accuracy; the components discussed using the example maps.
  • follow a group discussion on developing, arranging and assigning symbols for plants to be planted in a future gardening lesson, grade 2 students, given a blank map will be able to, with 100% accuracy, correctly copy the model map from the board with the correct corresponding symbol from the legend and key.


maps, mapping, gardens

Materials Needed

  • 4 maps to be used as examples
  • 2 maps to be used for identifying components
  • 25 blank maps for constructing their own maps
  • 25 pencils
  • 25 packs of crayons

Lesson Plan

A. Introduction and Motivation

    The teacher starts the discussion by asking the students if they have ever used a map and why. The teacher asks the students why maps are important. The teacher then asks students if they can identify the basic components of a map are and how to use them. After the students respond, the teacher discusses the importance of maps, why people use them, and the basic components of a map. The teacher then tells the students that they, as a group, will be making their own map of a garden to be planted by the class.
B. Lesson Body
  • The teacher starts by discussing the importance of maps. The teacher asks students the following questions: 1. What is a map? 2. Have you ever used a map and why? 3. Why are maps important? 4. Is it important to know how to read a map and why? 5. Does anyone know what the legend, key, symbols, or area is on a map?
  • The teacher then discusses all of the questions asked in detail. The teacher displays four examples of maps and points out the legend, key, symbols, and area on each map. The teacher discusses what each component is used for on a map and why. The teacher asks students if they have any questions. The teacher then displays two more examples of maps and ask the students, as a large group, to identify each component discussed.
  • The teacher explains to the students that they will be planting a garden in the near future and will need to make a map of the plants for the garden. The teacher explains that they need to map out the garden so that everyone will know where to put the plants and have a neat, organized garden. The map will also be important after the planting is complete to tell the location of each plant in the garden.
  • The teacher tells the students that they will be planting four of each of these types of plants: peppers, tomatoes, carrots and lettuce. The teacher then distributes a blank map to the students that has a box for the legend, key and symbols. The area of the map has a square, two rectangles, a circle and a triangle. The teacher draws the same map on the board and asks the students what they would like to plant in each of the shapes and come to an agreement of the arrangement. The teacher asks the students what type of symbol they would like to use for each plant and come to an agreement of the symbols. The teacher plots out the arrangement on the board using the symbols established by the class. The teacher completes the legend and key portion on the map as well.
  • The teacher then instructs the students to copy the model map from the board to complete their own map. The students use crayons to draw the symbols in the legend and key. The students use crayons to fill in the shapes with the correct corresponding symbol.
C. Closure
    Review the components of the map and ask the students what each component is and what it is used for. Review the model of the map and ask the students if all of the components are included on the map. Review each symbol and what it represents. Review what plant will be planted in each shape. Ask the students if they have any questions about the map or the components.


  • The students' understanding of the components of the map will be informally assessed through large group participation in a class discussion. Teacher observation of individual participation in class discussion will also be used.
  • The students' understanding of the map development will be formally assessed on an individual basis. The teacher will observe each map for correct completion.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Submitted by: Gretchen Siembak, ([email protected] ) Indiana University of Pennsylvania student, Indiana, Pennsylvania



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