Map It!

Contributor: Marlene Vogel. Lesson ID: 10757

Can you imagine a full-size map of your country? How would you fold it? Do you know how to use a map to find the fastest way to any place? Online tools and creativity teach you how to use a scale map!


Ratios, Rates, Percentages, and Proportions

learning style
personality style
Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Drive and Deliver

You have just been hired to be the delivery person for the Bridgeway Homeschool Academy furniture store!

The business is located at point F on the map. You are given a list of deliveries which is located in the table below. You must make all the deliveries! You need to plan your route so you can deliver the furniture efficiently.

Use the map and table located below to answer the following questions. (You can complete this activity once you have completed the lesson. Your teacher can access the Drive and Deliver Answer Key found in the Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.)

  1. What information can you get from the map that will help you plan your route?
  2. What other information would you want before planning your route?
  3. Using the map to help you, plan an efficient delivery route. How did you decide your route? Give a short written or verbal explanation to your teacher.
  4. Mrs. Gardiner calls and asks what time you expect to get to her office furniture. If you plan to start your route at 9:00 am, what should you tell her? Explain your answer.
  5. How can you estimate the time it will take to get somewhere? How can a map help you make such an estimate?



To Be Delivered

Mr. Hauck


Dining table and chairs

Mrs. Parnell



Mr. Allegra


Entertainment center

Ms. Vogel



Mrs. Gardiner


Desk, filing cabinet


Maps are a useful tool to use when traveling, IF you understand how to use one!

Today's lesson focuses on how to use a map to help solve a problem. Before you start learning how to use a map, take a second to review some of the vocabulary you will see in this lesson.

Scale drawing: An illustration of an area or object drawn when the area or object is too large or too small to fit onto a piece of paper:

  • Reduction A smaller illustration of an area or object
  • Enlargement A bigger illustration of an area or object

Knowing the definitions of your vocabulary words will help you understand that a map is a reduced scale drawing of an area.

A map is extremely helpful in seeing where you are going, as well as finding an efficient way to get to where you are going, and developing a schedule if you are making more than one stop in that area, just like the example at the beginning of this lesson.

In addition to the illustration of the map, you will need information to help you successfully problem-solve. Below is an example of how to use a map and the additional information to solve a problem:

  • Debbie is on a hike with her nature club. The hikers need to arrive at their campsite before 6:00 pm. It is currently 2:15 pm. There are two different ways to get from where they are to their tents. The first route is a steep 11 km trail and the other is a flat 17 km trail. The hikers average 3 km/hr on the steep trail and 4 km/hr on the flat trail. Which trail is faster? What time should they leave where they are to get to their tents?

  • The first tool you need to help you answer this problem is the map (See above). Take a few minutes to look at the map and identify the different areas:
  1. Parking area
  2. Tents
  3. Lake
  4. Steep hill
  5. Flat area
  6. Current location
  • Next, reread the problem and list the information you will need to solve the problem:
  1. Need to be at their tents by 6:00 pm.
  2. It is currently 2:15 pm.
  3. There are two routes.
  4. One route is the steep trail. It is 11 km long.
  5. The other route is the flat trail. It is 17 km long.
  6. The hikers can walk 3 km per hour if they take the steep trail.
  7. The hikers can walk 4 km per hour if they take the flat trail.
  • It is always a good idea to use a highlighter and highlight the important information in a word problem if it is on paper. If it is on the computer screen, then just use pencil and paper and make a list of the important information. This helps you focus only on the words and information you need to solve the problem.
  • Next, you will need a way to figure out the problem; in this case, you will need to decide which is the best route to take.

Another tool that can help you is a formula. When using a map, the best formula that can help you figure out which is the faster route is:



  • The distance is the length of the route. For this problem, you will use 11 km when figuring out how long it will take them to use the steep trail and 17 km when figuring out how long it will take them to use the flat trail.
  • The rate refers to the distance they can travel per the time unit. This problem tells you that it will take them 3 km/hr if they use the steep trail and 4 km/hr if they use the flat trail.
  • Now you set up the problem, substitute the information for the distance and rate, and figure out the answer. Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how long it will take the hikers if they use the steep trail:
Start with     distance   


Use 11 for the word distance in the numerator and 3 for the rate in the denominator:



Which is the same as 3 2/3 hours.

You can change 2/3 by multiplying 2/3 x 60/1 (which represents 60 minutes in one hour):

   2    x    60    =    120   
3 1 3


Your final answer is that it will take the hikers 3 hours and 40 minutes to get to their tents if they take the steep route.

  • Take the information for the flat trail (17 km and 4 km/hr) and the formula and figure out the answer for if they take the flat trail. Work through each step of the problem with your teacher or parent without looking at the answer (No peeking ahead at this point!).
  • When you have finished solving the problem, discuss your answer with your parent or teacher.
  • Your answer for the flat trail should be 4 hours and 15 minutes. Were you correct? Good work!
  • Now that you have the information for both of the routes, which route will get the hikers back to the tents faster? Exactly, the steep trail!
  • Knowing that it is 2:15 pm when they are at the red X, what time do they need to leave to go back to their tents using the steep trail? Take a minute to calculate.
  • Right, they need to leave by 2:20 pm to be back in time.

Now it's time see if you understand what you have learned!

In the next section, you will have a choice of activities that will get you practicing your new skills and using maps to solve problems! If you are having trouble, you can always refer back to this section for help.

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