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Changes to a Map

This is an idea I got from a teacher who regularly uses it to prepare students for IELTS. Essentially the idea is to take information given in a description and to try to recreate the map based on this description.

IELTS Writing changes to a map
The first IELTS writing task may require students to compare two or three maps.


PRE: Find an IELTS writing task 1 question that uses maps and a sample answer (or write your own).

1:  Have students read through the sample answer. You could cut up the answer and have students order the parts to make this more engaging. Have them list the changes to the map in bullet points.

2: Show the original map. Elicit where several of the changes took place.

3: Have students draw the map using the details given in the sample answer. Circulate and help with language.

4: Give students the second map. Have them compare and see if they got the same.


1: This can easily be applied to processes too. Students can draw a rough flow chart of what is described in the model answer.

2: Potentially this could also be applied to other graphs and charts.

3: Outside of simply preparing for the IELTS exam, this exercise represents one way that students may make notes by drawing a graphic representation of what they are reading about. Having students draw a timeline based on a text or lecture is a worthwhile skill to practise. 

Follow on:

Most likely you will want the students to write their own answer to this, or a similar, task.

Example Description:

The most noticeable additions are the hotel rooms. 6 buildings, surrounding some trees, have been built in the west of the island and 9 buildings have been constructed in the centre of the island.  Between the two accommodation areas, a reception building and a restaurant have been developed. A pier has also been built on the south coast of the island, allowing yachts access to the resort.

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