Helping Children Learn Cartography
Where in the world are you? Learn to read, understand and create maps
Recently at a yard sale, we discovered this simple book for kids that teaches them about the Art of Mapping called “Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids” and thought we would include it in our Geo-Books section for others to discover and use when they are trying to introduce kids to maps.
- Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids
- Authors: Laura Peetoom & Paul Heersink
- Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2011.
- 38 pages, paperback
- ISBN 978-1-4431-0493-7
- Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10
- “Best Books for Kids and Teens” by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in 2012.
Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids
Children can learn to read, understand and create maps using this easy to follow Scholastic book by Laura Peetoom & Paul Heersink.
Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids helps introduce children to the basic elements used when reading a map including map scale, symbols, and colours. It makes use of vibrant colors, simple diagrams, and various pictures to help children easily understand the process of creating and reading maps.
It shows them how maps are made, how they work and teaches them how to read maps including basic principles of navigation and how early explorers were able to chart the world, and Canada in particular.
The book then goes beyond the basic elements of maps providing some deeper aspects of cartography such as the minimum amount of colors to use when creating a map to the meaning of contour lines on topographic maps. It also includes a special section about explorer David Thompson highlighting some of his achievements as a great Canadian cartographer. This is a really great resource to use when introducing your children to what maps are, and how to create one.
A map is a picture of a place, but not like a painting or a photograph, which shows us what a place looks like. A map is a picture of information about a place. (p. 4)
The earliest known maps of Canada were drawn by seafaring explorers from Europe. Our whole continent was a surprise to them. When they found it, they were looking for something else – an easy passage to India and China.
So early maps of North America highlight information useful to readers looking for a way through: the shape of coastlines, the location of waterways and how far they travelled into the land. (p. 14)
The word “map” comes from the Latin word ‘mappa,’ meaning cloth. In earlier times, maps were drawn on animal skin or cloth. “Cartography” was borrowed from French: ‘cartographie’ means “map drawing.” (p. 16)