Compass point

17th September 2004 at 01:00
When doing compass directions with Year 7 this can be used as a second lesson after familiarising pupils with compass points. At the centre of an A4 sheet of paper, laid out as in landscape, I leave a space for pupils to glue in a picture of themselves.

Outwards from the photo I draw lines which point in all the compass directions, N, NNE, NE, ENE and so on. At the end of each line I put a picture of the main features found on an Ordnance Survey map, for example church, motorway, river, telephone box. Then pupils answer questions either in writing or orally. For example, to the questions: "Where is the church?"

and "Where is the telephone box in relation to the lighthouse?" they might reply: "The church is north of me," or "The telephone box is west of the lighthouse." They can also work out that they are a certain direction from an object, for example, "I am south west of the telephone kiosk".

This exercise goes down especially well with lower-ability pupils. To make it easier, compass directions can be written on tracing paper which is laid on the original.

Mike Conlon

Head of year, St Wilfrid's Catholic High School, Sefton, Merseyside

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