This year I'm doing a yearlong geography study with the girls using My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures. The first couple of weeks we've spent studying maps - learning about the compass rose, different types of maps (physical, political, and themed), and latitude and longitude lines.
We also talked about how maps are drawn to scale. Then to help them understand how scale drawings work, they created their own.
They traced their hands on a grid of 1-inch squares. Then they copied that onto a grid of 1/2-inch squares. Sassy had a difficult time understanding how to do that and pretty much just did a free draw on the smaller grid, but she's only 6. The older girls, though, really seemed to understand the concept and did a great job. They were able to see how mapmakers create maps to scale.