Workshop at Manorfield School, East London, Year 5 students

‘A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes.

Many maps are static two-dimensional, geometrically accurate (or approximately accurate) representations of three-dimensional space, while others are dynamic or interactive, even three-dimensional. Although most commonly used to depict geography, maps may represent any space, real or imagined, without regard to context or scale; e.g. Brain mapping, DNA mapping, and extraterrestrial mapping.’ (

For this project we will work on a tridimensional map of a fictitious science fiction capital. This capital will be an intergalactic metropolis, gathering elements of all different planets: it would have fantastic inhabitants of alien or human nature that can fly, walk or perhaps get teleported. Where do this people live? How do their buildings look like? What is the city’s most popular building? What is the most unpopular area and why? Do the inhabitants need squares and streets? Do they have monuments and art work in their city? Do they have a mayor, a government, do they need an assembly building? Are there any factories producing extraordinary products? Are there alien museums? Candy shops? Schools? What would a 3D map of this amazing metropolis be like?

The purpose of the project is to enhance children’s understanding of geographical and social relations highlighting them in the city context: relationships between habitat and geography, buildings, public spaces and social relationships. An imaginary tridimensional map would be a pleasant and educational way that would allow the children to understand and create relationships both among the imaginary citizens and among themselves. After all, a metropolis, imaginary or real, experienced or presented on a map is in a fascinating way the largest possible collaborative and collective project!

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