This photo gallery illustrates a teacher conducting the activity Mapping Storybooks with students in Grades preK and K.


Visit our Map Skills for Elementary Students collection to find additional activities that teach an assortment of map skills while addressing the spatial thinking abilities of young children and developmental appropriateness.


Learning to use and create maps builds students’ spatial thinking skills as well as language skills in the early years. Spatial thinking is important for students to develop as they connect the “why of where” in geography, Earth and environmental sciences, and history. Spatial thinking is also positively correlated with success in math and science, as it involves knowing and understanding spatial concepts and relations, how we represent those concepts and relations in different ways, and also how we can reason with spatial information. Students who acquire robust spatial thinking skills will be at an advantage in our increasingly global and technological society and will also build a foundation for analyzing environmental issues and challenges.