Third Grade Geometry Town Maps

Budding cartography and architectural skills were demonstrated recently, with Mount Madonna School (MMS) third students designing and mapping fanciful communities drawn from their own imaginations.

The class has been learning basic geometry concepts, and this project provided a creative opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding by making “town” maps incorporating geometric terms. Each town needed to include buildings in the shapes of pentagons, right triangles, trapezoids, and parallelograms. Students were required to include streets and roads connecting the buildings, highlighting terms such as line segment, parallel and perpendicular lines, and obtuse angles.

Pippa Mallet’s Sweet Tooth Village included her Scalene Cake Shop, and just a short distance away, via Licorice Ray Road you could find the Taffy Trapezoid and Octagon Drive-in Candy Store.

Canyon Creek Rescue Town, designed by classmate Jacquelyn Piccardo included the Hexagon Pharmacy, Wild Animal Training Sanctuary and the Trapezoid Train Station.

Students reflected on their map creations and how the concepts depicted/employed have real-world application.

“Geometry is all around us in real life, too,” observed third grader Amelie Powers.

“I liked working on my Geometry Town project because I learned more shapes,” shared classmate Eli Kayne. “It was really fun to learn about maps, and I liked coloring and measuring the buildings and roads.”

“Maps have a scale that shows distance,” commented Mallet. “Now I understand how to use a scale and make a grid, and I can use that grid to find shapes on my map. The grid helps us to locate places on the map, and we can also tell how far one place is from another. I also learned some new shapes like rhombus and trapezoids, and about arrays, symmetry and how to find the perimeter.”

Teacher Natalie Turner reflected on her students’ interest in this learning-filled project.

“The Geometry Town project was a fun and engaging way to learn more about geometric shapes and mapping skills,” said Turner. “Students were inspired by watching their peers come up with creative ways to incorporate buildings and roads into their map to meet the rubric, and used their imaginations and creativity to design towns that reflected their own interests.”


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 375 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a community of learners dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believe a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.