When I was in grade 6, we were assigned the task of planning an imaginary trip across Canada. We went to the local BCAA office and got brochures, guide books and maps. We figured out how far we should drive each day, how much money we could spend on hotels, and what attractions we’d want to see. We wrote (and drew and glued and so forth) it all up in a nifty report.
It was the kind of great, cross-subject project that works well as an educational tool and is a heck of a lot of fun for the student. Among the various things it taught us–planning, budgeting, etc–we learned how to read a map.
My map-reading skills were subsequently buoyed by a few years of Dungeons & Dragons, where drawing the map was as fun as playing. What can I say? I was (was?) a dork.
The fact is, some of us can navigate from a map and some of us can’t. I’m not dissing the non-map readers (I’m sure, for example, that they can make small talk, which is well-nigh impossible for me). I’m just curious as to when and where others learned to use a map?