EDINA's Digimap for Schools - a safe, online mapping service for children to use. Annotate different maps: draw polygons, add text, photos and point markers to plot routes.
Watch some helpful videos on using Digimap for Schools.
- Map reading made easy peasy PDF.
- Map reading videos with wildlife presenter, naturalist and #GetOutside Champion Steve Backshall - a series of short one-two-minute videos suitable for using in the classroom: map symbols, grid references, using a compass, contour lines, magnetic north.
- How the National Grid works - background information for teachers.
- Coordinate converter (e.g. eastings, northings, longitude, latitude).
Don't forget map symbols...
- 1:25 000 scale OS Explorer legend PDF (and the Welsh version PDF).
- Unique symbols on 1:25 000 scale mapping PDF.
- 1:50 000 scale OS Landranger legend PDF (and the Welsh version PDF).
- Map abbreviations PDF.
- Watch video by Steve Backshall: understanding map symbols.
Election maps resources
- Election maps for GB and Northern Ireland - find electoral boundaries using these online maps.
- Useful facts about elections - a summary for teachers.
Activity 1: Who's my councillor?
Get pupils to create a document showing a map of their house and street with the names, details and even photos of all the various councillors that represent that area.
Activity PDF (107kb) | Word doc. (124kb).
Activity 2: Be a vocal local
Get pupils to identify 3-5 issues/problems within the area immediately surrounding your school. They can annotate the map with these problems and also with solutions. You can prioritise issues by importance and colour code whose responsibility each problem lies with.
Activity PDF (106kb) | Word doc. (148kb).
Activity 3: MP for a day
Ask your pupils to give a speech to other MPs in the House of Commons to give as full a picture of their constituency as possible. They can talk about the physical and human characteristics of the area, different election areas, points to be proud of, and issues/concerns.
Activity PDF (107kb) | Word doc. (127kb).
Activity 4: A tale of two constituencies
Ask pupils to compare two constituencies - Conwy in North Wales (a rural area) and Coventry (an urban area). Are constituents facing the same issues or different ones? Why?
Activity PDF (120kb) | Word doc. (124kb).
Activity 5: Where to put a polling station
Get pupils to use the task information (see downloads) and election maps to decide the best place to put a polling station. Get them to write up the reasons why they chose the location over other areas, using the writing frame we've provided.
Activity PDF (114kb) | Word doc. (124kb).
Activity 6: Perfect or pants at politics?
Get pupils to design a questionnaire to find out how much teachers know about electoral areas surrounding your school.
Activity PDF (104kb). | Word doc. (126kb).
Activity 7: Euro expo
Your pupils are on the Euro region committee and are off to the Euro Election Exhibition. They will need to research where fellow exhibitors are from by producing an annotated map of EU electoral regions in the UK.
Activity PDF (113kb) | Euro expo doc. (128kb).
Geographic information systems (GIS) hold information about something's location. For example, they can tell you how frequently an area has been flooded, crime rate and population density. It's more than just map data.
These interactive exercises look at the bigger picture. How location information plays an important role in our day-to-day lives.
Control flood damage - help Bridgefordshire Rivers Agency to choose the best flood defence scheme:
Identify wind farm sites - help Green Energy Ltd find suitable sites to build new wind farms:
Respond to emergencies - help Tom McKay, Chief Ambulance Officer for East Bridgeforshire Health Authority, to deliver a top quality ambulance service by responding to emergencies quickly:
Increase retail profits - help Maxine Walton, Managing Director of a supermarket, to launch a new mini store in Bridgeforshire. Investigate potential sites to build on.
Farm for profit - help to manage Home Farm in South Bridgeforshire for one year to turn it around and make a profit. To do this pupils will need to grow crops on the right type of land:
Stop crime - help Bridgeforshire Constabulary to investigate crime patterns and decide which areas need the most support:
- #GetOutside - inspire your class to get outside at weekends with these adventure ideas.
- OS Locate - introduce your students to this compass app. It helps you navigate when you're out on field trips.
- Duke of Edinburgh Award website - get advice for running the D of E Award. Your students who are taking part will have a login to OS maps where they can plan routes.
- Buy OS paper maps for field trips.
Lots of organisations learn map reading skills ready for exploring the great outdoors. Here are a few: