Theme: Mapping

This unit deals with position and location both locally and globally. Stories and activities offer opportunities to study and/or design maps (such as treasure maps, weather maps and world maps) and use map-related language e.g. key, legend and cardinal points.

It is vital for teachers to understand the Ziptales 10 stage Reading Scheme, which governs how reading groups can be formed in a way which matches children’s abilities to the appropriate texts. To check on this essential resource - click here.

The 10 Zip Stages cover all levels of reading ability, from Foundation/Prep/Kindergarten through to Year 6. This scheme underpins the whole Themes module.

Learning Components

Focus Stories Comprehension Conventions Writing Speaking & Listening Extension
Zip Stage 1
Rainbow Bay
(Vowel/Consonant Digraphs
Easy Readers)
Reread the story then draw and label a map of Rainbow Bay. Worksheet #1:
The Long ‘a’ Sound
Worksheet #2:
Looking at Verbs
Discuss the beaches you have been to or heard of. Locate them on a map if possible. How do we tell the ocean from the land on a map? Design a poster about it.
Zip Stage 2
The Awful Animal Zoo
(Vowel/Consonant Digraphs
Easy Readers)
Which zoo would you like best? Give reasons for your answer. Worksheet #1:
Same Sound, Different Letters
Worksheet #2:
In pairs, take turns to point to different features of a real zoo using its visitor map. Fold a piece of paper in half and draw a map of the different zoos in the story on each side.
Zip Stage 3
Maui and the Giant Fish
(Stories From Long Ago
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Story Focus
Worksheet #1:
Spelling/Grammar Focus
Write your own imaginative story about how valleys and mountains formed. In pairs, label an outline map of New Zealand (north/south islands, bodies of water etc). Study a map of New Zealand’s volcanoes. Create a paper mache model of a volcano.
Zip Stage 3
Wheels of Speed
(Imaginary Worlds
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
What’s the Order?
Worksheet #1:
Imagine you found a magical scooter. Write about your adventures. Write some facts on a map of Antarctica and read them aloud to an audience. Label the continents on an outline map of the world.
Zip Stage 3
Wendy and the Pirate
Multiple Choice Questions Worksheet #2:
The Story of the Map
Worksheet #1:
Mixed Up Letters
Write a story about finding a map to a hidden treasure. In pairs, create funny sentences using the first letters of the 4 cardinal points - N, S, E & W. Design and decorate an 8 point compass rose.
Zip Stage 4
Good Dog
Explain how Mum and Dad felt about Paddy at the beginning and end of the story. General Worksheet #1:
Crazy Contractions
What is a weather map? Write some facts about weather maps. In pairs, design a map of an island where you’d like to have a picnic. General Worksheet #2:
The Key to Mapping!
Zip Stage 5
The Eye of the Idol
List in order the dangers Luke faced whilst trying to find the hidden treasure. General Worksheet #1:
To, Too or Two?
General Worksheet #2:
Word Switch
Draw a map to go with your new inscription.
General Worksheet #4:
Interview Lucky Luke
Role-play interview with a partner.
General Worksheet #3:
Design a Front Cover
Zip Stage 5
Dr Wow in Atlantis
Describe how Billy feels on each page and why he feels that way. General Worksheet #1:
Swapping Synonyms
General Worksheet #2:
Facts about Mammals
Present an oral report about what a ‘Sat Nav’ is and how it works. Locate Santorini on a world map and write some facts about it.
Zip Stage 6
Live Dinosaur Tour
Use clues from the story to design a map of the dinosaur park. General Worksheet #1:
Have you Heard of Homographs?
General Worksheet #4:
My Life as a Dinosaur
In pairs, complete General Worksheet #2:
Dinosaur Quiz
General Worksheet #3:
Dinosaur Research
Zip Stage 7
No Second Chances
(True Tales)
Write 5 facts about Adam Samulski. What is your opinion of him? General Worksheet #1:
Proper Nouns
General Worksheet #3:
The Great Divide
Present answers to General Worksheet #2 to an audience. Identify the main mountain ranges on a map of Australia.
Zip Stage 7
Kay Cottee’s Adventures
(True Tales)
Reread the story to highlight and label Kay Cottee’s journey on a world map. General Worksheet #1:
A Dash of this and a Dash of that
General Worksheet #2:
Dear Diary
Mark 5 places on a world map you’d like to visit. Orally explain the reasons for your choices. General Worksheet #3:
Australians of the Year
Zip Stage 7
Don’t Mess With Jess
General Worksheet #2:
Unlikely Friendships
General Worksheet #1:
Proper Nouns
Write a story about a country you would like to visit with your friends. Identify it on a map. Present an oral report about Uluru or another famous Australian landmark. Identify the states, territories and capital cities on a map of Australia.
Zip Stage 8
The Pirate’s Prize
General Worksheet #1:
Map Luke’s Adventure
Use the title to discuss the use of apostrophes of possession. General Worksheet #2:
Luke Meets Blackbeard
In pairs, write a rhyme to describe a hidden treasure’s location. Research facts about Port Royal. Why is it the setting in this story?
Zip Stage 8
Two Hours from Town
General Worksheet #1:
Meddling with Metaphors
Use semi-desert to study hyphens and their rules. General Worksheet #3:
Outback Emergency
Work in a small group to complete General Worksheet #2. Identify and name the 10 deserts in Australia on a map.
Zip Stage 9
Mimi’s Gift
(People & Values
Advanced Library)
Worksheet #1:
Task 2
Worksheet #1:
Task 1
Worksheet #2:
The City of Light
Use maps to present an oral report about Paris’s location in the world. Design a detailed poster about the countries in Europe.
Zip Stage 10
Nightmare Island
Advanced Library)
Worksheet #1:
Action-Packed Adventures
Use examples from the story to study abbreviations (e.g. KL, SOS, MTBI, EPRIB). Worksheet #2:
Nightmarish Cyclones
Research facts about sundials. Make a simple sundial and explain how it works to an audience. Identify cyclone prone areas on an outline of a world map.

Assessment Ideas

  • Generate a spelling list related to mapping for students to learn using words such as: key, legend, ocean, city, state, territory, isobar, symbol, landmark and location.
  • Use the Word Work and Spelling and Vocabulary Worksheets for the Reading Library stories to improve students’ spelling skills.
  • Put each of the words from the spelling list in sentences that display the use of speech marks.
  • Select a passage from one of the on-line stories as dictation assessing use of capital letters.
  • Complete the Fill the Gaps and Multiple Choice questions at the end of the story (available for the Junior Readers, Reading Library and Advanced Library genre stories).
  • Use the Learning Support Worksheets for the Reading Library stories to practise a range of reading skills.
  • Use one or more of the on-line stories to write descriptions of the characters in the format of a ‘Who Am I?’
  • Design a front cover for one of the on-line stories.
  • You find a strange map and X marks the spot. Write a narrative about what happens next.
  • Imagine you are embarking on the trip of a lifetime around Australia. Use a map of Australia to write a diarised account of your journey.
  • Use a local street directory to write a list of instructions about how to travel to school from your home.
Oral Language
  • In pairs, study a map of the world identifying the top five places you would like to visit stating reasons for each.
  • Present an oral information report about the equator, the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer.
  • In small groups, present a slide show presentation about the continents of the world.
Related Ziptales Activities:

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