Atlases, maps and mapping books for children and teens
Atlases and maps in the classroom and at home are crucial to help foster mapping skills in British primary and secondary school students. In today’s digitally driven world where GPS systems can dominate, understanding traditional maps and atlases is essential for developing spatial literacy and awareness of the surrounding topography. The books recommended below are gateways to exploring the diverse geography, history, cultures, and environments of our interconnected world. Additionally, proficiency in map reading enhances problem-solving, visual comprehension, and a sense of direction – all vital skills in a globalised society.
This list contains 50 titles, to read and inspire interest in maps, mapping, geopolitics and the world we live in. There’s a range of activity books, puzzles, atlases and skills resources to use at home, in the classroom and as reference books for both primary and secondary school libraries. This list features books by Vivian French, Collins Maps, Emily Hawkins, Thiago de Moraes, Lonely Planet, Joshua Foer, Tim Marshall and Dorling Kindersley.
Atlases and maps for children and teens – our recommendations
Maps and atlases for primary school aged children
Maps and atlases for KS3 and KS4 students
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Atlases, maps and mapping resources for teachers
- The Geographical Association offers a vast collection of resources for primary and secondary teachers covering grid references, downloadable maps, aerial views and more.
- Ordnance Survey features a collection of free resources for teachers that include the OS compass app, election mapping and testing map knowledge. For primary-aged children, there’s also the interactive Mapzone site.
- The Royal Geographical Society has produced a set of downloadable complete lesson plans for year 1, year 2, year 3, year 4, year 5 and year 6, covering all aspects of map skills in KS1 and KS2.
- The Geographical Association has published useful guides for teachers explaining how to teach with maps and how to develop spatial skills and graphicacy.
- National Geographic’s Map Maker tool allows young learners to create their own maps using base maps, data layers and annotation.
- BBC Bitesize offers mapping tips, quizzes and interactive activities for KS1 and KS2.
- BBC Teach has an animated ‘class clip’ for KS1 and KS2 to explain maps and mapping in under three minutes.