Sketch Maps in Your Classroom

Sketch maps are a simple and wonderful way of reinforcing student skills in your classroom.  

This is first in a series of simple hand-drawn maps to use in your classroom.  In addition to adding geographic knowledge, they give students a chance to practice research, design, and pen and pencil skills.

(In today’s tech-focused atmosphere, don’t let your students forget how to hold a pencil!)

What might be the best part of sketch maps?  While working on their maps, students will be having fun and learning at the same time!


Our first sketch map will be of the state of Florida.

To start, find a map of the state of Florida to refer to.

With a pencil and paper, make a simple outline of the state.  Draw lightly to start, using an eraser if necessary.  Make adjustments as you go!

Every student’s map will look a little different!

Click on any of the following images to see them larger size.


This next step is easy, but important.  

Draw a border around the edge of the paper.  This will frame your map!

Step 3

Here we will add a few easy geographic points

Using a star inside a circle, mark the state capital, Tallahassee.

Label the large bodies of water that surround Florida.

We have added bordering state abbreviations, and a large lake.  



With a little research, you can continue to add other details of your choice as well!

You can add the places and details we did, or add others of your own choice.

For instance, we added the Everglades, shown with a symbol.

The river is drawn in blue, a color used to show water on maps.

And we added the name “The Panhandle” that is used to describe western Florida.


Here’s the best part: finishing your map with color and decoration!

This step includes adding a title, a compass rose, and any other decorative details of your choice.

Feel free to start these details with pencil first, adjusting with erasure, before you finish with a bolder pen or marker.

Colored pencils, markers or crayons can be used to add color (we prefer colored pencils!).



When you study FLORIDA using our large 16 inch by 20 inch map, you will find this sketch map project to be a great additional activity that supports learning.

Why not have students draw their sketch map on the back of this map, as part of your studies!