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Geography Lesson Plan


• Cardinal Directions: North, South, East and West

• United States and Virginia

• Length of lesson: 45 minutes

• Virginia Standards of Learning

o Geography 1.4 The student will develop map skills by (b) using cardinal

directions on maps 1.5 The student will construct a simple map of a familiar area

using basic map symbols in the map legend.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

• demonstrate understanding of the cardinal directions

• construct a map to include a compass rose

Teaching and Learning Sequence

Introduction/Anticipatory Set –

• Call attention to the front of the class

• Throw the tennis ball up in the air and ask the class, "What direction did the ball go when

I threw it?"

• After the students answer "up," ask them "Does anyone know another name for the

direction up, especially on a map?" Explain to the class that in this lesson we will learn

some new words for different directions.

• Ask the students, "If we are giving some directions on how to get to school, what are

some words we might use?" (i.e. straight, turn left/right, up, down, forward, backward)
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• On overhead, show a simple map of the school. Mark a starting point and an ending

point. Ask students for directions on how to get to the specified destination. They will use

terms such as up, down, left, right.

• Draw a cardinal rose on the board using north, south, east, and west. Draw another one

beside it using up, down, left, and right.

• Point to each direction and recite the name of each. Have children repeat.

• Explain North is another word for up, South is another word for down, etc.

Lesson Development-

• Show class the globe and point out the United States. Explain that a globe is a round

model of the Earth.

• Show class the map of the United States. Explain that a map is a drawing. Point out the

compass rose.

• Point out North, South, East and West on the map.

• Point out Virginia and ask the students where Virginia is on the map.

• Explain events that happen in each direction. (i.e. North-cold, South-warm, East-sunrise,


• Explain to students that we will now take a virtual field trip.

• Use projector to make Google Earth large enough for all students to see.

• Enter the school's location and zoom in from space to see a roadside view as well as an
aerial view.

• Chose Disney World as a destination.

• Ask the students which direction we need to travel to get to Disney World from Virginia.

• "Fly" down to the destination.

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• Turn on the 3D feature and zoom in close.

• Ask the students for directions to navigate the 3D maps to find various rides.

• Once the students successfully locate an attraction, preview that attraction with a 30

second video clip on Google Earth.

• Pretend that we are "riding" the attraction. Put hands up in the air, as we are going down

a hill, etc.


• Call attention to the front of the class and tell students to return to their desks

• Give pneumonic for remembering the cardinal directions: “Never Eat Soggy Waffles”

• As a final review for the day, point to few different states on the map and ask students to

identify in which direction they are located.

• Explain Homework: Tell students to create a map of their bedroom. They are to include

things such as their bed, dresser, toy box, etc. and of course, a compass rose. The map

should be neat, use a ruler, and colorful. Parent help is permitted.

• Model this for them by creating a map of my bedroom.


• Map of bedroom



• Listen to each child as they answer questions and give directions

• Watch students for comprehension as we take out virtual field trip.

Summative –
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• Check homework for correct representation of the compass rose, neatness and use of


References Introducing the Cardinal Directions in the Classroom: Teaching North,

South, East, West. Retrieved from
ml?cat=16 Using Google Earth in the Elementary Classroom. Retrieved from