I teach a Site planning class to first year students and during the introductory lecture we engaged in some map reading activities.
I split the class into three groups and each group rotated between 3 activities. The first two activities involved students studying a topocadastral or orthophoto map and answering questions about what they could see. I had not explained anything to the class about the maps but set up the questions for the students themselves to discover characteristics about the maps (such as the meaning of certain symbols or drawing conventions).
For the third activity, I connected 6 topocadastral maps that covered the Cape Metropolitan area. As an interesting exercise, and for students to personalise their own connection with mapping, I asked students to put a red pin at the location of their home or residence and using string, trace their route to varsity.