This hands-on activity is the prelude to The Map is not the Territory unit of inquiry. The London tube map was designed by Harry Beck in 1933. It is a simplified model of reality. The map informs the traveller how to navigate precisely between stations. It offers nothing more, nothing less, and ignores all extraneous information. The layout, which resembles a circuit diagram, corresponds only loosely to the physical locations of the stations.

Without revealing this spoiler paragraph to students proceed straight to the hands-on activity without teacher comment... 

CLASS ACTIVITY

Working in  pairs, carefully circle all the visible London underground stations on your street map section (which accurately reflects satellite pictures of Central London). 

Find the same stations on your section of the iconic London Underground Map. 

Using a bold colored pen, connect the stations, respecting the way that they are actually connected underground. 

Compare and contrast the orientations between stations and the distances apart on your two maps. What is going on here? How does the London map compare with the other subway or metro maps that you know? 

Here is a printable pdf. After some whole class sharing of perspectives, plunge into The Map is Not the Territory.