Grade 2

Create Your Own Maps

Innovative Designer


Students learn about their home state by creating it using Mr. Nussbaum’s Maptivation. This site is great for creating just about any land map imaginable!

This activity will take several class periods. 

Students will:

  • Be able to create a map of their state.
  • Be able to add a compass rose, legend and important attributes of their state.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Map: A map is a picture or chart that shows the rivers, mountains, streets, etc., in a particular area a map of the country. 

  2. Map Key/ Legend: A map key or legend is included with a map to unlock it. It gives you the information needed for the map to make sense.

  3. Symbol: Maps often use symbols or colors to represent things, and the map key explains what they mean. Symbols in the key might be pictures or icons that represent different things on the map.

  4. Compass rose: A compass rose is a figure on a compass, map, nautical chart, or monument used to display the orientation of the cardinal directions

  5. Cardinal directions: Cardinal directions are North, East, South, and West

  6. Capital city: A capital city is the most important city or town of a country or region, usually its seat of government and administrative center.

To prepare for this lesson:

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. The teacher will say to the class, "Boys and girls, today you are going to be map makers. You are going to create maps of our state. As a map maker, what do you think would be some important components we would need?"

  2. Have the group brainstorm what they would need while you guide them. Suggestions could be a title, capital, places of interest, a body of water. You could use this to add to the rubric. (MAKE A COPY OF THE RUBRIC BEFORE YOU EDIT.)

  3. Play or Read:

  4. Have students explore Mr. Nussbaum’s map site.

Different options for assessing the students:

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Innovative Designer
4a. Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
4b. Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
4c. Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.
4d. Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

Kix Pix

Follow That Map by Scot Ritchie Book

Mr. Nussbaum's Map Site


There's a Map on My Lap!: All About Maps Book

There's a Map on My Lap! All About Maps Video


Have the students create a commercial  about their state including the key points on the map.

The teacher will add map scales to show students how to calculate distances.

The students may Include natural resources on their map.

  • 2 – G1 0 1 Construct maps of the local community that contain symbols, labels, and legends denoting human and natural characteristics of place

  • 2 – G1 0 2 Use maps to describe the spatial organization of the local community by applying concepts including relative location, and using distance, direction, and scale

  • 2 – G1 0 3 Use maps to describe the location of the local community within the state of Michigan in relation to other significant places in the state.  

This task card was created by Courtney Conley, Utica Community Schools, May 2018. Updated November 2021.