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Reading Maps

This support material is incorporated into critical challenges at grade 4, however, it can be adapted for use at all grade levels.

The following documents can be adapted and re-saved for your needs.

Interpreting Mapping Techniques Word
This chart helps students recognize the techniques used to read maps. Interpreting Mapping Techniques includes a worked example for colour as a technique. To use this chart, students:

  • identify various techniques used in a particular map, e.g., colour, shading, legend, labels, direction indicators, scale, symbols, or consider a list of techniques identified by the teacher
  • indicate the type of information each technique communicates
  • identify an example(s) of a feature (e.g., Boreal Forest) on the assigned map designated by each technique
  • explain how the technique helps to communicate information about the feature; e.g., we can tell the forest's location and size.

Assessing Map Reading Word
An assessment rubric is available for this chart.


Adapted from Critical Challenges Across the Curriculum series. Permission granted by The Critical Thinking Consortium for use by Alberta teachers.

Last updated: July 1, 2014 | (Revision History)
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