Locating places: pictorial maps

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

Key inquiry question #1

What are places like?

Content Summary

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 acitivities 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 birds 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

Engagement and questioning

Students work in pairs to find each of the pictures listed in the downloadable resource, then as a class discuss the viewpoint and what each picture represents.

Number of set tasks:

Acquiring geographical information

Students learn the language of position, and apply this to pictorial maps drawn of Sydney.

Number of set tasks:

Representing geographical information

Students use positioning language to interpret maps and draw their own pictorial.

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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 

NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum History K - 10

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)

Space: the significance of location and spatial distribution, and ways people organise and manage the spaces that we live in eg 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