Are you doing a community helper theme, family theme, or learning about maps? If you are then this is the perfect activity for you to add to your lesson plans! As students make a giant community map mural, they will be learning all about maps, shapes, special reasoning, and art. Plus they will be building tons of social skills as they create this map mural as a team with their friends.
To create the map mural you will need to cut rectangles and triangles for the houses. I took a piece of cardstock and cut it in half to create the rectangular part of the house. I then cut triangles to match the size. Students picked if they wanted a tall house or a short house then had to find a matching roof. When students have to find a matching roof, they are developing spatial reasoning skills, measurement, and comparing items by size.
Next, students need to color the houses. For a few reasons, I chose tempera paint sticks for students to use to color the houses. The paint sticks dry super fast, are not messy, and the colors are gorgeous.
Once the houses are dry, either that day or the next day, students can draw details on the houses with black sharpie markers. We talked about things houses have and what shape those things can be. Students added windows, doors, doorknobs, and/or shingles. It was their house so they decided what details their house needed. Students shared their structures with the class, which was a great opportunity for students to make connections with each other.
If you have younger students, they will scribble on their house. Some of my students did and that’s ok! Scribbling is an important stage in development!
Now the fun part: making the roads! Grab a piece of white butcher paper and tape the houses to it. I made a road with black paint for students to use as a guide. Place cars in paint (you can see the yellow paint plate in the top left corner) and roll the car back and forth to get paint on the wheels. Then students can drive the cars on the roads!
As students drive the cars on the road, they have to share space, the road, and the paint plate. It’s an activity that allows students to practice sharing, taking turns, waiting, problem-solving, and expressing their wants and needs (ex: I need the paint when you are done).
Every community map needs grass or trees. Students can use sponges or luffas to paint green grass on the map.
Once the map is complete and students can play on it with cars or you can hang it up to decorate the classroom or in the hallway.
Here are a few more pictures of our map!
If you need more community helper freebies, activities, and centers, check out this post.
If you need more activities to teach positional words, check out this Positional Words Unit from the Little Learners Math Curriculum!
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