Directions for Mapping the Schoolyard
To lead students in mapping the schoolyard, the teacher may wish to follow the steps below:
- For safety purposes, walk schoolyard before lesson and scout for possible hazards.
- Gather necessary materials. Organize students in a circle and explain that they are going to create maps of the schoolyard. Ask students to determine the types of things they should be including on their maps, such as:
- major plant areas (trees, lawn, shrubs)
- terrain (hills, creeks, ponds)
- structures (buildings, fences, gates, parking lots, drains).
- Sketch your own map of the schoolyard including structures, terrain, plants, and signs of habitats. Include a map title, map symbols, distance scale, compass rose.
- Ask the students to imagine that they are flying over their schoolyard when they are making their maps. This is called a map view. Review safety with students and ask them to identify some safety issues.
- Split the class into groups of two. Have students work together to draw a map that represents all of the elements outlined in
- Conclude the project by having students share their maps. They can explain some of the major features they found as they explored. Do students have any questions about what is around their schoolyard? Do they notice anything about where certain plants are located? Leading students may help them to make connections about plant habitats, including:
- willows next to the creek
- oak trees on the hill
- lawn around the buildings.