Students play a grid-based game and devise clues to help classmates find
locations on the globe. In doing so, they come to recognize the value
of using latitude and longitude for identifying locations.
participating in Mystery Class must understand geographic location. Every
spot on the Earth can be described in both relative and absolute terms.
In our everyday lives, we think mainly about relative location: Where places
are in relation to other places. Is it close by? Can I get there from here?
What else is nearby?
In Journey North, absolute location is important. Using a mathematical grid
system (in this case, latitude and longitude), any spot on earth can be
identified with just two numbers. In order to location mystery classes students should know
how to use latitude and longitude with ease. This lesson lays the groundwork
by helping students recognize the value of using a grid system for finding
Write these sentences on the board:
house is close to the mall.
house is on the corner of Maple Street and Elm Avenue.
cousin's house is in a small Texas town named Beeville.
of these statements would be most useful in helping you find the house
that's mentioned? Have them explain their thinking. Accept their
responses and encourage discussion. Finally, invite the class to explore
different ways of describing locations.
Exploration: Hidden Animals
the class to play an animal variation of the "Battleship"
game. Divide the class into pairs and give each student a copy of the
Where in the World? Animal Grid.
- Ask partner
#1 to hide the four migratory animals somewhere on the grid, but not
to show the grid to his or her partner. Partner #2 must then guess coordinates
C,8) to locate the animals. Partner #1 should respond "yes"
or "no" to each guess to indicate whether
any part of an animal touches those coordinates. Partner #2 should
use a blank
grid to mark responses and narrow down the possible locations
for each animal. Partners should switch roles when one has uncovered
all the animals.
- Ask the
the animals? Why or why not?
are unfamiliar with latitude/longitude lines on maps, explore a map
together. Ask them to describe things they notice about it. If they
don't point out the lines running across the page (latitude) and lines
running up and down (longitude), ask them if they see any type of grid.
Ask, Why do you think these lines are drawn on many maps? Discuss
the way the lines are numbered and share as much detail as is appropriate
for your grade range.
Connections — Discussion and Journaling Questions
- How is
the grid you used in the animal hiding game similar to latitude and
- What was
challenging about finding the hidden animals?
* world map with longitude/ latitude lines
* Animal Grid (1 per student)