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Map Directions and the United States

Created By: Janenne Scott, Oakland Elementary School (Bloomington, IL)
Grade Level: 3rd
Content Area: Social Studies
Database Integration: Students will search TDC database for images of a compass rose, a miles marker, and a US map.


Illinois Learning Standards Achieved

Standard Achieved

Activity that Meets this Standard

State Goal 17.B.1a: Identify components of the Earth's physical systems. Students will be able to identify cardinal and intermediate directions to help identify their state and other states on a US map.
State Goal 17.C.1b: Identify opportunities and constraints of the physical environment. Students will be able to identify cardinal and intermediate directions to help identify their state and other states on a US map.


Objective:

Students will be able to identify cardinal and intermediate directions to help identify their state and other states on a US map.


Time:

Mid-September three days -each lesson about 30 minutes.


Procedures/Teaching Activities:

Day One:

  1. Post the four cardinal directions on your classroom walls.
  2. Explain that there are four directions found between the cardinal directions. These are the intermediate directions.
  3. Place a blank overhead on the machine and pick two objects in the room (i.e. the teacher's desk and the pencil sharpener). Draw these on the overhead.
  4. Have one student walk between these two directions and have the other student make on the overhead the direction the student went. Choose other objects and repeat 2 or 3 times.

Day Two:

  1. Pull down the map of the United States. Model directions by giving the students several directions (i.e. it is north of your state and is northeast of the state that borders our state) have children write down directions between several states and put them in a jar.
  2. Pull out one of the student's directions. Have another student read it and see if other students can find the state by the directions given.
  3. Do this activity several times.

Day Three:

  1. Model making and using a compass rose. Use a ruler (cm or mile marker) and determine distance between two spots. This is a hard concept and needs to be taken slowly. It would be best to do this on an overhead so all children can see and are involved.
  2. Have students make a compass rose with cardinal and intermediate directions.
  3. Have them use their centimeter ruler to determine distance (or if you are lucky enough to have mile rulers use these) between two states and direction by using a compass rose. For example, ask the students what direction is California from Illinois and how far is it in cm?
  4. This is a great partner activity because of the skill level.
  5. Make sure the children keep their compass rose (laminate if possible) because this is a great activity for centers and reinforcement.