Map-Making, Map-Making, Make Me a Map Part 2 : Let’s do it!

In part 1, I encouraged HomesCoolers to include Geography in daily HomesCooling lessons. In this post, I will share how to copy maps as they learn about their own country and the world.

Here are the maps which the kids have done:

This was a three student project. It was borne out of our study of the Age of Exploration in World History.



This was done when they boys were around 8 and 10 years old.


This was an unplanned activity. As we tried to process the Mamasapano tragedy in Mindanao involving our Filipino countrymen, we found the need to review Geography again and understand the history of the Muslims in our country. This was done by Raya.


We stretched this activity by asking the children to feature one province they would like to visit and create a "brochure" for tourists:) Oh that was fun!  We want to go to Camiguin and Davao. Gino created the smaller map of the Mindanao region.
We stretched this activity by asking the children to feature one province they would like to visit and create a “brochure” for tourists:) Oh that was fun! We want to go to Camiguin and Davao. Gino created the smaller map of the Mindanao region.


Steps to copying, reducing or enlarging:

1. Use an old map or download and print the map you wish to copy/enlarge/reduce.

Draw vertical and horizontal parallel lines (see how you can introduce Math concepts!). Create squares or rectangles ( more Math!).


The task for this was to enlarge the Mindanao region. Draw lines to create one inch squares. Label the boxes -A1 meaning row A, column 1 to serve as a guide when you begin to draw your map. You can introduce or make use of multiplication in map enlargement.  The squares have to be enlarged twice or thrice ( depending on your desired size for your map). For this map, Gino  multiplied the sides of square by 2.


The task was to “reduce” the Philippine map into a A3 paper. We opted to create rectangles using this old Philippine map. For reducing, you can make use of division.


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You can introduce the measurements in this activity and teach the children the proper use of rulers.

With boxes in your paper/ cartolina, it will be easier to copy the image as you copy in an orderly manner, using the boxes and their labels as guides.  The details of the forms of the islands, the presence of rivers, and other landforms can be copied as well.

All your students have to do is to also label the boxes in his paper (where he will draw the map from scratch) with the same labels on the map to be copied (A1, A2, A3, etc) .

Now you can start drawing!

MapEnlargement27 With the box to box correspondence,, it will be easier to “map” out the map!


Islands will be easier to draw in their proper locations.


Such projects cannot be accomplished in one sitting.  The world map was done by three students for around 2-3 weeks (as they worked on it around three times a week).  However, it is very good exercise to help children (and the teacher as well !)  familiarize (and not memorize) provinces and regions in our country and countries all over the world.  They can also map all the oceans and the continents easily.  Without knowing it, as they daily outline, color and add details, they are actually memorizing while having fun. You can continue to talk as they do these tasks, “Imagine what is it like to be a cartographer?”  or “Could you imagine how it was like when there were no maps?”  And try to listen to their answers!  We hope to make more maps, Luzon and Visayas are definitely in our bucket list.

Merry Map Making!


1 Chronicles 4:10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

Map-Making, Map-Making, Make Me a Map Part 1

As we started our HomesCool journey 13 years ago, I realized I had very limited knowledge in Geography.  It was never taken as a formal subject in elementary, high school or college. I remember only having a keen interest on it when we would travel.

I was then just as excited and interested as my preschool students to learn about Geography, stare at maps, spin the globe, and sing songs about continents and various regions. I guess, it was further fueled by  having three boys in our HomesCool. For some reason, boys, and I can say that for our three boys, gravitate more to maps and to Geography. If this difference in appreciation of Geography between genders interest you, kindly read further, “Why Do Boys Do Better Than Girls in the “Geo Bee”?”

After realizing how important it was to have a good grasp of geography for deeper appreciation of history, events, culture, etc, I really wondered why this was never seriously taught to me in grade school or even high school. I wondered why, instead of having to memorize all the provinces of the Philippines and their capitals, why didn’t we learn to be very familiar with our own geography? My husband, however,  has a better grasp of this subject despite the lack of formal lessons in formal schooling. This is because he just loved to look at maps and study them during his free time.

I hope to tackle this topic in 2 parts(haha, it may even stretch to 3!). I just can’t jump into sharing with you how we made maps because kids  have to see the value in Geography before they can “create or recreate” maps. They need to know the deeper reason of why they are studying this subject. For optimal learning, they need to have a bond with the map they are working on. That only happens when there is more to the map than just lines, grids and boundaries.  They should have stories, exciting stories. They should introduce people, their culture and way of life.

Oh, we’ve had so much fun tracking the journey of Bible greats like Moses and the Israelites,  explorers like Magellan and Christopher Columbus, missionaries such as Gladys Aylward, of vehicles like ship of Dr. Doolittle , or the hot air balloon in Around the World in 80 Days. We’ve tried to figure out where the Vikings and the first North American settlers passed! One exciting map was from the Metropolitan Museum of New York, which we used alongside a reader entitled,  “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.”

Tied with their study on Social Studies, the Earth and its Grid, we had this simple activity from a Geography for kids activity book. It was to me the clearest way to shop how a map and the globe are one and the same, just different representations of the same thing.

Make lines of the Earth’s grid (equator, latitude and longitude) on the outer cover of an orange using a good pentel pen. Using a knife or cutter, cut along the lines of longitude through and through. Cut through just enough to create a crevice on the equator.


So, how did we incorporate Geography and Map making into our HomesCool ?  Initially we focused on materials from Sonlight‘s  Geography’s Songs Kit and Apologia‘s Around the World in 180 Days.

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The Geography Songs kit tunes were catchy, and our kids loved them (though some information in our older version needed to be updated). Kids were truly able to memorize names of countries of the world arranged in regions.

Add to this, we purchased a good world map to display,  an atlas that they could hold and read like a book, and a globe to spin around! Through the years, and thankfully, these have gotten worn out and had to be replaced.  It there was a chance, we also got some puzzles of the Philippines and  the world.

As we incorporated Read-A-Louds (good  story or chapter books you read to the children) and their own Readers (assigned reading material for the student) and tackled World History twice a week, it became a habit to always imagine the setting of where the story is taking place. We eventually bring out the atlas, maps or globe (now you can do Google Earth/ Maps!) and check.  Some readers even provide their own, more specific (street) maps like this one from Oliver Twist.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Illustrated by Ian Andrew, published by DK

Map reading and making became a regular habit for us. I love these kinds of projects because they’re done in stages. This helps older children learn proper planning, patience and perseverance in completing a project. The joy in accomplishing such a project is also unmatched, as seen on the faces in the photo below.   I will just share some of the Simpao HomesCool maps through the years and, in a future post,  I will specifically take you through the steps on how to do them too 🙂  Hope this excites you to watch out for Part 2.

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Deuteronomy 10:11 “Go,” the LORD said to me, “and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” NIV