2. Map Legends

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Reading maps:

In this section, children are shown how a map key or map legend contains symbols and colours which explain what is represented on a map. Children are shown examples of some map legends.

Activity: 'Colour the continents' - Children are asked to design a map key to explain this map.

Concept: Maps use line symbols, e.g. roads and railways as well as boundaries. Maps also use colour to highlight different aspects of the landscape, e.g. water.

Differentiation: explore how the different kinds of Irish roads are depicted on a map, for example: motorways and national primary routes. (This exercise is for the more able learners in 5th and 6th class.)

  • Quiz: 'Find the motorways' -
  • Activity: Draw a map showing different kinds of roads - examines how railways are shown on maps.
  • Water on maps: examples are shown of rivers and lakes using Ordnance Survey maps.
  • Game: 'Spot the lake': Forests and boundaries are also pointed out on maps and looking at county boundaries and national park boundaries is encouraged. Children can examine an example from Co. Wicklow of a national park.
  • Task: Draw the province and county boundary lines.