United States Map - Lesson 7 (K-3)

Four Main Directions
Objectives The students will be able to locate the North Pole and South Pole on a globe.
  The students will learn the definitions of north, south, east and west.
  The students will determine the direction north on a globe
Vocabulary North Pole, South Pole, north, south, east, west
Materials Needed United States Political Map, globe, and map marker



Review with the students that the globe is a model of the Earth. The globe may also be used to find (locate) places on Earth. Write the words North Pole and South Pole on the board. Tell the students these are two important places on the globe that help us find other places.


Find the North Pole on the globe. The North Pole is the most northern place on the Earth. When a compass is pointing to the north, it is pointing toward the North Pole. North is one of four main directions. North can be defined as the direction toward the North Pole.


Have the students discuss where they think the South Pole may be found on the globe. (The South Pole is opposite the North Pole.) What differences do the students see between the North Pole and the South Pole? (There is water, the Arctic Ocean, at the North Pole, and land, the continent of Antarctica, at the South Pole.)


South is another main direction. South is opposite north. When a person standing on the Earth is facing the North Pole, south is behind them. East and west are the two remaining main directions. East is to the right of a person standing on the Earth facing toward the North Pole. West is to the left of a person standing on the earth facing toward the North Pole.


Pull down the United States map. In the top right corner is a Direction Skills inset map. A compass rose, a direction finder, is drawn over the United States using a global projection. Review with the students the definition of each direction.


Position the globe so that the same area shown on the inset map is facing the students. Draw a compass rose on the globe over the United States and label the four main directions. Make sure the students understand north is toward the North Pole. What country is north of the United States? (Canada) What county is south of the United States? (Mexico) What ocean is east of the United States? (Atlantic) What ocean is west of the United States? (Pacific)

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