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United States Map - Lesson 13 (K-3)

Intermediate Directions
Objectives The students will learn the definitions of the four intermediate directions, northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest.
  The students will use the United States Political Map to determine the location of cities and states relative to other places.
Vocabulary intermediate directions, northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest
Materials Needed United States Political Map, globe, map marker, draw a compass rose on a post-it-note with North indicated



Pull the United State Map all the way down. Locate the Direction Skills inset map in the right corner of the map. Also position the globe so the students are looking at the United States. Locate the North Pole on the globe. Review with the students the definitions of the four main directions as stated within the inset map.


North is toward the North Pole.
South is toward the South Pole.
East is to the right of a person standing on the Earth facing the North Pole.
West is to the left of a person standing on the Earth facing the North Pole.


Tell the students that today they will learn about the four intermediate directions. Explain that sometimes we need to know more exact direction. We can identify four more directions. These are the intermediate directions. They are half way between the main directions. Using the direction finder on the inset map, draw a line halfway between north and east. Ask the students what they think the name of this direction might be. (northeast) Do the same for the other intermediate directions.


North is indicated on the direction finder post-it-note. Place the stick-up over the state of Colorado so that north is pointing toward the North Pole. Have the students label the other three main directions with the one letter abbreviation.


Now have the students label the intermediate directions in their proper places on the compass rose. Use the following abbreviations:


NE for northeast
NW for northwest
SE for southeast
SW for southwest


Have the students answer the following questions. Which state is north of Colorado? (Wyoming) Which state is northeast? (Nebraska) Which state is east? (Kansas) Which state is southeast? (Oklahoma) Which state is south? (New Mexico) Which state is southwest? (Arizona) Which state is west? (Utah) Which state is northwest? (Wyoming)


If time allows do the same procedure for your state.

Lesson  .pdf file (Printable Lesson)

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