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Tried and Tested - Magical maps

Subject: Any

Lesson: Story maps

Ages: Seven to 11

Supplied by: Elizabeth Spincer from Saltford C of E Primary School in Bristol

1. What is it?

This lesson is a mix of map work and creativity, inspired by and making use of The Once Upon a Time Map Book by BG Hennessy and Peter Joyce.

2. Who is it aimed at?

It's aimed at pupils of all abilities between the ages of seven and 11, but particularly suits imaginative Year 3s.

3. What happens in the lesson?

Share with the children some of the pages from the book, which is based on the fictional places of familiar stories such as Peter Pan and Cinderella. Focus on some of the map-making elements used - grid references, symbols and a key, compass points and scale. Take note of the way they have been designed to fit in with the theme of the stories. Next comes the fun part. Give the children some 2cm squared paper and ask them to create fantasy lands. They can be as creative as they like, as long as they include the map essentials listed above.

4. What do you want the lesson to achieve?

The lesson makes the children familiar with what constitutes a map, how to read one and then how to make one.

5. How do you know it has been successful?

You know it's been successful if your pupils can tell you all about their maps using some of the appropriate vocabulary you have introduced in an accurate and enthusiastic way.

6. Why would you recommend this to other teachers?

The children learn useful skills in this lesson and it's great fun, allowing them to be creative and giving you plenty of opportunity for cross-curricular work.

7. Give us three top tips

- Look at other kinds of maps in the run-up to the lesson.

- Make sure that the children can see a colour version of the maps from the book.

- Have suggestions of other familiar stories that may lend themselves to map-making, in case the children struggle to come up with their own.

8. Useful resources

The main resource for this lesson is The Once Upon a Time Map Book by BG Hennessy and Peter Joyce (Walker Books, 2004), but you could also look at maps in other familiar stories or films.


Title: Reading journal

Ages: 9 to 11

Subject: English

What is it? A 14-page reading journal based on RL Stevenson's Treasure Island. The journal encourages pupils to analyse its title, cover and jacket notes; write a letter and diary entry in the role of a character; analyse language within the text and compare characters.

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