3rd Grade Reading A Map Lesson Plan Example (Social Studies)

Topic: Reading a map

Objectives & Outcomes

  • By the end of this lesson, students will be able to read a map and identify major landmarks and locations.


  • Maps of various regions (e.g. city map, state map, country map)
  • Markers or pen
  • Handouts with examples of landmarks and locations


  • Review basic concepts of maps, such as the different elements (title, boundaries, labels, symbols) and how to read them.
  • Ask the students to name some common landmarks and locations in their area and draw them on a chart, then share their ideas with the class.

Direct Instruction

  • Introduce the students to the particular map they will be learning to read. Explain the purpose of the map and how it can be used to help us navigate and understand the world around us.
  • Demonstrate how to locate and read the different elements of the map. Show the students how to find the title, boundaries, labels, and symbols, and explain their meanings.
  • Practice reading the map as a class, pointing out different landmarks and locations and discussing their meanings.

Guided Practice

  • Have the students work in pairs or small groups to practice reading the map. This can be done by giving each group a copy of the map and having them identify and read the various elements.
  • As the students work, circulate around the room to assist and clarify any questions they might have.

Independent Practice

  • Give each student a copy of the map to take home and have them complete the activity on their own.
  • Encourage the students to use their maps to navigate around the school (e.g. finding the bathroom, finding a friend's classroom, finding the playground).


  • Have the students share with the class what they learned about reading a map.
  • Review the key concepts (e.g. north, south, east, west, main street, etc.)


  • Observe the students during the independent practice activity and provide feedback on their ability to locate the different locations on the map.
  • Have the students complete a reflection sheet where they explain what they learned about reading a map.

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