What is Community Mapping?
Community Mapping is an activity that results in a map drawn to show the features of a specific community (area). In a small town the map might show the entire area. In a large city, the map is more likely to show only the local neighbourhood. A community map shows the assets as well as any issues the community has.
How is a Community Map Created?
- Put students in small groups of 4 or 5 students per group.
- Give each group a “Community Profile” page that either you, as the teacher, have created, or that the class has generated.
- Take your class on a walk around your local “community” or neighbourhood. Instruct students to look for evidence of the assets or issues shown on the Community Profile page. (The “other” tick boxes can be used for new discoveries not included in the original profile.)
Identifying Community Issues
- When students return to class, discuss and chart the assets and issues of the community they just walked through.
- Discuss major street names and write on the board for student reference.
- Discuss features of community maps such as shapes to represent buildings, street names, etc.
- Distribute chart paper (grid type) to each group. Have the group work together IN PENCIL to create a map of the community.
- After each group has finished drawing their map, have them share with another group. What differences are there between the two maps? What is similar?
- Allow groups to return to their own map to add or change anything they like after their discussion with the other other group. Repeat as many times as you feel would benefit the group.
- When group members are happy with their community map, allow them to use markers to make the maps clearer.
Creating a Community Action Plan
Ask students to start thinking of a plan that will help address their issue. Each group can create a timeline of steps they will need to complete their action plan project.
Possible Community Action Plan Projects
There are many ways for students to show their learning in their completed Action Plan projects. Check out the possibilities on this list. If at all possible, allow your students to actually make the public service announcements to write to a pertinent government official. The bigger/more significant the audience is, the more invested your students will become in their work!