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This is an edible physical and directional state geography lesson


Art, Social Studies  


2, 3, 4, 5  

Title – Edible Geography

By – Lisa Pizzolla

Primary Subject – Social Studies

Secondary Subject – Art

Grade Level – 2-5

Note from

    This is a lesson for New York State, but any other state may be easily substituted without any adaptations to the lesson plan.

General Objective:

    Learning directional geography (North, South, East and West) and the physical geography through an edible map of New York State.


    The children will listen to a story about maps; become “compass kids”. Using a physical map for reference, students will learn physical geography about New York by making an edible map. They will use different edible objects to display the different geographical landmarks of New York.

Specific Objectives:

    1. The students will be able to locate North, South, East, and West.

    2. The students will be able to locate New York on a map.

    3. The students will be able to name the states to the north, south, east, and west of New York.

    4. The students will be able to locate landforms of New York.


  • Students will learn the cardinal directions in this lesson.
  • Students will learn the physical geographic features of New York.
  • Students will be able to create their own edible map of New York.


  • Mapping Penny’s World

    by Loreen Leedy or

    Me on the Ma

    p by Joan Sweeny
  • Cards labeled “North,” “South,” “East,” and “West”
  • 2 cups smooth peanut butter, 2½ cups powdered milk, 2½ cups powdered sugar, 2 cups white corn syrup, blue icing, chocolate chips, M & Ms.
  • Map on wall, reference landform map of New York
  • Wax paper (if needed)
  • Pre-made map outline (if needed)
  • Paper, crayons or markers

Guiding Questions:

    1. Does anyone know what a map is?

    2. Why do we use a map?


    1. Today we are going to learn where our state is, and we will learn about north, south, east and west.

    2. Read the story

    Mapping Penny’s World


    Me on the Map


    3. Check to see if everyone knows the difference between their left and right. If not, use the mnemonic device. (Have the children put their hands out in front of them with the palms of their hands facing away from them and their thumbs pointing to each other. Have them put all their fingers down except the thumbs and pointer fingers. The hand that makes an “L” is their left hand and the one that doesn’t is their right hand.)

    4. What is a compass?

    5. Have the children become “compass kids.” Ask one child to come up to the front of the room to model the cardinal directions. Everything to their left would be the west; in front of them would be north, etc.) Label the student with the cards that say North, South, East and West.

    6. Look at the map and explain to the students that everything above a certain point on the map is the North, everything below is to the south, everything to the left is to the west and everything to the right is the east.

    7. Ask if anyone knows where our state is on the map. If they don’t know, show them the location on the map.

    8. Show the children another state and ask them if it is to the north, south, east, or west of New York.


    9. Get ready for the activity. Give each student a reference map to find the geographical features.

    10. Give each student a portion of the dough (pre-make this the night before).

    11. Have students shape the dough to represent the state of New York.

    12. Once the map is shaped, have the students place the edible objects.

      Blue icing

      – New York’s lakes, rivers and ocean.

      Chocolate chips

      – New York’s Mountains.

      M & Ms

      – New York’s capital (Albany) and other cities (Mt. Vernon) of New York

    13. Make a map key for their landform map of New York.

    14. When the map is finished, have the student share their map with the rest of the class and try to name the areas represented by their classmate’s maps.

    15. After the students have gone around the room looking at the other students’ maps, they can eat their edible maps of New York!


    The teacher can label the room as follows: the front being north, the back being south, the left of the room being west, and the right of the room being east. Have one child leave the room and while that child is gone, hide an object like a bean bag. When the child comes back in, have the other children give directions so that the child can find the object.

    The teacher will observe the construction of the maps to make sure all of the physical features are represented and the student will be able to orally tell the class about their map.

    The students will name the physical features represented on their maps on a piece of paper making a map key.


    Have students make a map of their bedroom labeling the cardinal directions.




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