Teaching Geographical Concepts and Skills in Primary Social Studies, pp. 8 of 13

a)    Plan View

Maps give a bird’s eye view or plan view of the features on the ground. Strategies for teaching plan view in primary social studies include the following and they range from simple to difficult:

  • Ask students to place their stationery or home objects on their desks and draw the view from above.
  • Design a worksheet that shows the plan views of certain objects and ask students to guess what the objects are. Alternately, ask students to match the correct plan views with the pictures of objects.
  • Ask students to draw the plan views of their bedrooms, classrooms or parts of the school ground. Students can base their drawings on the actual places,   photographs and their memory.
  • Give students a map of the neighbourhood with certain places marked. Students can walk around the neighbourhood to locate the places, take photographs and stick the photographs on the map on the class notice boards.

b)    Legend and Symbols

The legend explains the meanings of symbols used on the map. Symbols are signs on the map that represent the features on the Earth’s surface. Symbols can be pictorial or abstract like linear, point or area symbols. Linear symbols represent line features such as a road or a river. Point symbols represent point like features such as a building or a bridge and area symbols represent features that occupy considerable spaces such as a lake or a padi cultivation area. Standard colours are used for symbols - green for vegetation, blue for water bodies, brown for landforms and red or black for man-made features. Some strategies for teaching symbols in primary social studies lessons are:

  • Match the correct symbols with their meanings.
  • Draw symbols for a list of features provided by teacher.
  • Identify symbols provided by teacher.
  • Give students a neighbourhood map and ask them to identify its marked features by making reference to its legend. Teacher can extend the activity by asking students to describe the functions of the features found in the neighbourhood or ask them to compare and contrast the different land uses.  

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

Newsletter Subscription

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up-to-date with new journal issues!