Lost and Found
Lost and Found is a great map activity for kids of all ages. An educator can incorporate this activity into social studies, history, or literature. A map of whatever area (the world, a country, a state) will be needed, preferably one for each student. Students are then given a list of places to locate on the map.
If all students have a map, then the activity could be timed. If there is only one map in the classroom, then students might be given turns to finding the "lost" locations. Note: in this case, there would need to be enough locations for all the students to have a turn.
Lost and Found can be tailored to all age groups as well as various subjects. Maps are not limited to geography studies; they can be used for history, literature, and even science. For, younger students with lower reading skills, symbols can be used on the map to indicate place. Students would be charged with matching the symbols. Alternately, students in higher grades could be given a list of places related to historical events or literary characters (i.e., map Napoleon's march through Europe, or map the locations of the plays of Shakespeare).
Special needs students or English Language Learners could have this activity modified to meet their needs, also. For instance, in the special needs class, a map with tactile points, such as a piece of sand paper or a bit of flannel cut and pasted to the city the student is from, would allow the student to "feel" the map. For an ESL class, beginning students could be asked to identify a city, a state, a province, etc, while intermediate or advanced students could be given actual names to search for on the map.