Map it out

It is World Earth day tomorrow. Last year we showed you how to make pop-up books to celebrate. This year you could make a map fold book and use it to record your local area. Choose quite a small area -maybe you have a playground or a playing field; maybe you could map out the features of your walk to school. 

Draw the space, the map. Mark on it all the elements of landscape and of living things: trees, flowers, moss and lichen, animals, insects, gastropods; water, earth, woodland or meadow, scrubland or hillside; arable or pasture. Name your place.

Do you have special names for different parts of it: the rec, the loke, the drift, the snicket? Maybe, note the weather. Even if you don’t see many birds, do you hear them? What is the soil like? Is it sandy or stony? Are there flints or cobbles? Is there one special tree where everyone meets. What about water – a stream, a river, a ditch, a culvert? Celebrate the patch of earth where you live.

Here’s how to make the map fold.

You need a rectangle of paper. A4 is ideal. (US standard letter). I have created a two tone paper so that you can identify the two sides more easily.

  • Fold the paper in half (hamburger).
  • Find the middle of the fold edge by folding side to side and gently nipping the centre point.  
  • Fold the top right and left corners down to meet at te centre.
  • Open the corners out again.
  • Reverse fold each side. That is, fold each corner in on itself which should look like this:
  • Fold the short straight side (on right and left) into the middle:
  • Reverse fold first the left triangle and then the right. Push the diagonal edge of the triangle in wards so that it is tucked behind the front sheet. Do the same for the right side. You should now have a simple house shape.
  • Turn the paper over and do the same on the other side.
  • You are ready to go!

You may prefer to watch a video. There are plenty to be found and you can choose the style you prefer. It is sometimes called a Turkish map fold.

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