Learning Latitude, Longitude and Using a Compass

A few days ago, I shared the hands-on activity we did to learn about the layers of the Earth.  We’ve also been learning about how we show and locate the exact positions of the land and water.

I explained that most maps and globes are marked with lines that help us pinpoint an exact location on the Earth. These lines form an imaginary grid. The equator is just one of these imaginary lines. The others are lines of latitude and longitude.

latitude-longitude

 

Lines of latitude are sometimes called parallels. They circle the globe are are parallel to the equator. The lines of longitude run from North to South. They start at the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England and circle the globe. Longitude lines are also known as Meridians.

Once they knew that basic information, it was time for the real challenge. Using the globe or a map, how close could they come to finding the exact locations of some cities around the world (like Nairobi, Kenya or Denver, Colorado).  The kids found this to be a lot of fun and were VERY excited when their answer was close to the information provided by google!

These pages are part of our Earth Science Packet:

LearningAboutLatitude-Longitude-675x393

 

Next, we pulled out a compass and talked about how a compass works and what a compass rose is on a map.  I had the kids each take turns trying to line up North and turn the dial to the direction they wanted to go.

compass-activity

Then they lined the compass point up, picked a spot across the room and placed their card on the wall to show the four cardinal directions.

Compass-Activity675x470

We haven’t gotten to this yet, but this week we will go outside and make a giant compass rose out on the driveway.

If you are looking for more great geography activities, I highly recommend The Geography Book: Activities for Exploring, Mapping, and Enjoying Your World . (affiliate link) We borrowed it from the library, but it had enough geography and Earth Science activities that I decided to purchase it. It’s really good!

That’s about it for now!  Once again, if you are working on this unit right now and would like to use the printables I showed above, just drop me an email or leave a note over on our Homeschool Den Facebook page. Otherwise, I’ll be sharing the large Earth Science packet in another couple of weeks that includes the pages you see above. :)  It’s still a work in progress because we’re still in the middle of all of our activities!

You might also be interested in these related posts: 

Disclosure:  Please note that some of the book links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

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9 Responses

  1. October 21, 2014

    […] to the age of the Earth, talked about the Layers of the Earth and did a hands-on activity, and learned about latitude, longitude and how to use a compass. We then took a closer look at how time on Earth has been […]

  2. October 21, 2014

    […] to the age of the Earth, talked about the Layers of the Earth and did a hands-on activity, and learned about latitude, longitude and how to use a compass. We then took a closer look at how time on Earth has been […]

  3. October 21, 2014

    […] to the age of the Earth, talked about the Layers of the Earth and did a hands-on activity, and learned about latitude, longitude and how to use a compass. We then took a closer look at how time on Earth has been […]

  4. November 17, 2014

    […] Learning about Latitude and Longitude, Using a Compass […]

  5. November 17, 2014

    […] Learning about Latitude and Longitude, Using a Compass […]

  6. November 17, 2014

    […] Learning about Latitude and Longitude, Using a Compass […]

  7. November 18, 2014

    […] We just love hands-on activities! We’ve been studying Earth Science this fall.  Back several weeks ago, we explained how we started this unit… with an overview of our solar system, then a closer look at Earth’s geologic timeline talking about the age of the Earth (4.6 billion years) and the appearance of various critters in the geologic timeline (trilobites, sharks, dinosaurs, ants and more). We also l learned about latitude, longitude and how to use a compass. […]

  8. November 18, 2014

    […] We just love hands-on activities! We’ve been studying Earth Science this fall.  Back several weeks ago, we explained how we started this unit… with an overview of our solar system, then a closer look at Earth’s geologic timeline talking about the age of the Earth (4.6 billion years) and the appearance of various critters in the geologic timeline (trilobites, sharks, dinosaurs, ants and more). We also l learned about latitude, longitude and how to use a compass. […]

  9. November 18, 2014

    […] We just love hands-on activities! We’ve been studying Earth Science this fall.  Back several weeks ago, we explained how we started this unit… with an overview of our solar system, then a closer look at Earth’s geologic timeline talking about the age of the Earth (4.6 billion years) and the appearance of various critters in the geologic timeline (trilobites, sharks, dinosaurs, ants and more). We also l learned about latitude, longitude and how to use a compass. […]

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