Summer Travel: Using Maps and Online Travel Tools
The summer months bring extra hours of daylight and, often, more trips to new places. Whether planning a trip to a park, a daytrip to a nearby place, or somewhere more distant, similar skills are needed.
It is easy today to rely on one of the web-based mapping tools for directions. Experienced travelers know, however, that journeys can encounter detours, construction sites, accidents, traffic, and other events that require deviating from the printed instructions. Sometimes it is difficult to see road signs, too, which can lead to driving challenges. At these times, being able to read a map is important.
You can find tools for using maps online, in books at the library, and by applying your and your learner’s own experience. Play with the tools, and explore routes, your community, or even your local shopping center (they post maps, too!).
We also use maps for reasons other than finding our way somewhere, such as when we look at the weather report or an article in the paper accompanied by a map showing the location of the news.
The U.S. Geological Survey offers some lesson plans and activities for free on its web site: