Giant-Size Outdoor Map

Giant-Size Outdoor Map lesson plan

Map your own neighborhood—or anywhere you can imagine—and create a place to play on the playground at the same time.

  • 1.

    With the class, make a list of features of a town or city such as the one where you live or go to school: restaurants, gas stations, swimming pool, parks, police station, stores, hospitals, and other buildings. Remember to include roads, signs, and bridges. Choose whether to map your local area, a city somewhere else in the world, or an imaginary urban environment.

  • 2.

    In small groups, choose neighborhoods to represent. Each team takes a different section of town. Sketch maps of each area on roll paper with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils. Try to include everything your group can think of that might appear on a map. Review the work of each group and figure out a way to coordinate the maps to create a giant drawing on the playground.

  • 3.

    Find a large outdoor area on which to make a detailed map. With Crayola 3-D Sidewalk Chalk, the colors will "pop" most on a dark surface such as asphalt.

  • 4.

    Plan how to coordinate sections using the same scale so all parts fit together. You may find that starting with streets works best. Design the map. To create the best 3-D effects, leave a small black space showing between each chalk color. Place cool colors such as blue, purple, and green near warm colors such as red, yellow, and orange for maximum 3-D depth. Try on the glasses as you draw to see the effects.

  • 5.

    Label landmarks and street names. Add a compass rose to show the map’s orientation. When the map is complete, take a stroll through your town. Add more details before the rain washes your city away!


  • Students identify basic features of urban areas.
  • Students apply basic concepts of measurement and scale when drawing a map.
  • Students plan and measure roads to represent a real or imaginary city. Students include landmarks, and a compass rose on a detailed map.
  • Students work cooperatively in small groups to complete their map.


  • Research various architectural styles of buildings, such as Colonial, Victorian, and modern.
  • Invent games that can be played in the mini-city, such as a scavenger hunt and Red Light/Green Light.
  • For children with mobility challenges, consider using a computer drawing program or working in pairs.