Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8
Social Studies

Happy Maps

Introduce "algorithms" to students by asking them to create a maze about their community.

Activity Partner
Total time estimate:
30-60 minutes
Activity Objectives
  • Students will identify a local landmark that is special to them, create a puzzle about their community, and record a video describing why this place is special to them
  • Then, students will share their puzzles with others, and ask their classmates to follow a series of steps (or "algorithm") to solve the maze and reach the landmark
  • Afterward, students will reflect on what they learned about others from their puzzles and videos

This activity supports the development of the following social-emotional skills: self-awareness and social awareness.


Engage students in a discussion about community landmarks that are special to them. You might ask: 

  • Is there a place in your neighborhood that you enjoy visiting?
  • If you could take me anywhere to help me understand your identity, where would you take me? 
  • What does this place look like? What does it sound like? How do you feel when you go there?
  • Why is this place important or meaningful to you?
  • Do you have any special memories about going to this place?

Then, ask students to use the handout below to create a puzzle, which invites people to use a series of steps (or "algorithm") to solve a maze and reach a special destination...their community landmark!


Using the Flipgrid activity below, prompt students to record a video describing their landmark, its significance, and any special memories they have about it. Then, encourage them to watch and respond to videos posted by their classmates or peers in your Empatico partner class.


Guide students through a post-activity reflection by asking the following questions:

  • What interesting facts did you learn about your classmates and their community?
  • Do you share anything in common with each other?
  • Was there anything that surprised you or challenged the way you initially thought about your classmates?

This activity was created in partnership with

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