Students in early elementary commonly draw their view of the world using the perspective seen in this map. Students can use maps with this perspective to begin to learn spatial concepts such as identity, location, and symbols. They should be given opportunities to practice with maps of familiar places, like a community. At this age, symbols should represent an object or place in the real world and be a recognizable icon to students. Abstract, unrelated symbols are not understood well at this age. Use the text and prompts below to explore the provided community map with students.


Try This!

A community is a place where people live, work, and have fun together. Look at this map of a community. It shows residential and business areas and some of the main streets and buildings in the community. It includes a map key with symbols.


Community buildings provide services for everyone who lives in the community. For example, everyone can borrow books from the library. Look at the map key to find the symbol for the library. Find the library on the map. What other places on the map provide services for the community?



  • Name two streets that have a lot of houses.
  • What does the paper bag symbol mean?
  • This community has one bank. Find the bank on the map.
  • Find the post office. Where is it located?
  • Find the police station. Between what types of buildings is it located?
  • In what direction would you travel to get from the post office to the farm?


  • Sobel, David. Mapmaking With Children: Sense of Place Education for the Elementary Years. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1998.