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United States Map - Lesson 8 (K-3)

Using the Four Main Directions in the Classroom
Objectives The students will use the four main directions to locate features within the classroom.
Vocabulary compass rose
Materials Needed United States Political Map, globe, and magnetic compass



Pull down the United States Map and locate the Direction Skills Inset Map in the upper right corner. Review with the students the four main directions. Emphasize the direction north, as that is our base direction:
           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.


These definitions are always correct. They are correct on the globe and the United States map. Or even within your own classroom. Tell the students they will locate things in their classroom by using the four main directions.


Have the students locate the drawing of the student in the direction inset map. Emphasize that the student in the drawing is acting as a direction finder. Select a student to act as a direction finder for your classroom.


Use the magnetic compass to determine the direction north in your classroom. Label the north wall in your classroom.


Have the "student direction finder" stand facing the north wall. His/her arms should be extended exactly like the student on the drawing. Label the other walls.


Now use the classroom to locate other features by using direction. Each time the students locate a feature have them tell you the direction they moved and what the direction means. (Examples - East is to my right as I face the North Pole.)


Conclude the lesson by drawing your classroom on the globe. If possible have the location of each desk marked on the globe. Emphasize that if the students were to walk toward the north wall in the classroom, and they kept walking, they would eventually arrive at the North Pole.

Lesson  .pdf file (Printable Lesson)

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