Locating places: people live in places

Topic: Locating Places: Pictorial Maps
Learning Activity
Schools & Teachers
Early Stage 1
Geography: Kindergarten
Students explore the places they live in and belong to. Students discover how the location of places can be represented.

Key inquiry question #1

What are places like?


Locating places


  • investigate how the location of places can be represented, for example:  (ACHGK001)
  • location of familiar and local places on maps   
  • description of the location of places  

Background Notes for Teachers

The focus of these activities is on developing an understanding of the features and uses of pictorial maps and using the language of position to describe location.

Pictorial maps are a geographical tool that can be used to represent data in geographical inquiries. A pictorial map is defined by the NSW Geography K-10 syllabus as ‘a map using illustrations to represent information on a map’. Pictorial maps are usually represented from a bird’s eye view or from a slanted angle.

Positional language includes: across, around, over, past, through, under, beside, behind, between, near, far, above, below.

Student Activities

Pictorial maps

Students locate places by using a zoomable map.

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Pictorial representations

Students use a zoomable map to explore its detail and answer questions.

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What is a map?

Students study a picture book and discuss the maps shown and understand how to use positional language. 

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A map of my desk top and a map of our playing area outside

Students draw pictorial maps of their desk and outside play areas.

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Describing location

Students understand how to use positional langauge when describing location and geographical features.

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A Playground Walk

Students  study a picture book then plot a trail through their pictorial map and use positional language to describe.

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NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum Geography K–6

A student:

  • GEe‑1 identifies places and develops an understanding of the importance of places to people
  • GEe‑2 communicates geographical information and uses geographical tools

Acquiring geographical information

  • pose questions and make observations (ACHGS001)
  • record geographical data and information (ACHGS002)

Processing geographical information

  • represent data using charts or graphs (ACHGS003)
  • draw conclusions based on discussions of observations (ACHGS004)

Communicating geographical information

  • present information (ACHGS005)
  • reflect on their learning (ACHGS006)
  • Place: the significance of places and what they are like (e.g places students live in and belong to and why they are important).
  • Space: the significance of location and spatial distribution, and ways people organise and manage the spaces that we live in (e.g location of a place in relation to other familiar places).
  • Environment: the significance of the environment in human life, and the important interrelationships.

Learning across the curriculum

  • Information and communication technology capability
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Personal and social capability


Picture books

My Map Book by Sara Fanelli

Maps by Aleksandria Mizielinska

Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

Pictorial maps

Winnie the Pooh – pictorial map of the Hundred Acre Wood 

Tourist map of Penrith from the 1980s 

Concept work for Sydney City Map 

Map of Luna Park Sydney