Map making using GIS
Since a key geographical purpose of the project is to highlight the importance of using a shared set of map symbols, so that everyone understands each other's maps, children should create maps of an agreed route, not a disparate set of routes to school. Before doing the first activity, take the children for a short walk around a chosen route in the locality making a note of key features. Ask them to produce a hand-drawn map of the shared route. The walk around the locality will obviously require some pre-planning, e.g. parental permission will need to gained, adult helpers will need to be recruited and briefed, clipboards and pens will need to be organised. Although the route could take in a random set of notable features (e.g. a local parade of shops, a church, a factory, a busy road), a theme could give the walk more purpose, e.g. children could be asked to record places where people work or places of worship or places that they like and/or dislike in the locality. Recording while on the walk could take different forms - some children could draw features, others record in written note form, others record spoken notes into a small tape or digital recorder, others take photographs. As small digital video cameras are now relatively inexpensive and user-friendly, they provide another means of recording, although they are perhaps better in the hands of a teacher or other adult helper.