Grade Levels: 5 - 8
- Students will use a compass.
- Students will use geography, environmental studies, mathematics, and cooperation skills.
- 1 compass for each group of 2 or 3 students
- 3" x 5" index cards, pencils for each group
- General map of the areas to be covered
- Cone markers
Note: Students must learn the basics of using a compass prior to going on a field experience.
- Using the Compass:
- Arrange students in groups of two or three; give each group a compass, a 3" x 5" card, and a pencil.
- Begin by having the students find north.
- Once it is found, place a cone at a point approximately 25 yards from the students.
- Number an additional set of eight cones and place them in different locations approximately 25 yards from the center of the playing area.
- Explain to the class that north will always remain a constant, and the other compass readings can be taken based on their relationship to north.
- Ask students to write down the compass headings from the center of the playing area to each of the other cones.
- Have the students discuss how the readings were taken and compare answers.
- First Course Trial:
- On an open playing field, mark and number (use large numbers that can be seen from a distance) 12 different locations at varying distances from the center.
- On 3" x 5" cards, write the numbers 1-12, in a different sequence on each card.
- Give one card and pencil to each group of two or three students.
- Beginning in the center of the area, students locate the first numbered cone on their cards, record the compass heading, and run to it.
- From that cone they locate the next numbered cone, record the compass heading, and run to it.
- This sequence continues until they have recorded the compass heading to each cone in their sequence.
- The final listing should be from the last cone back to the center.
- Second Course Trial:
- This field experience is similar to the first, with one major exception.
- Rather than writing the numbers of the cones down, write the compass heading from each group's sequence.
- The object is for the group to read the compass heading on the card, locate the cone, run to it, and write the cone number down
on the card next to the heading.
320 degrees from center mark – cone number ___(6)__
60 degrees from cone number ___(6)___ to cone number ___(4)___
128 degrees from cone number ___(4)___ to cone number ___(8)___
- Third Course Trial:
- During this trial, students must locate marks that are not directly visible from any point.
- Using the 3" x 5" card format as in the second trial, locate marks behind trees or bushes, around the corner of a building, under a bench, and so on.
- As the students run to that area, they must also be looking for the mark.
- When it is found, they must write the number and describe the location of the mark.
320 degrees from center mark – cone number ___(6, by pine tree)__
60 degrees from cone number __(6)__ to cone number __(4, under bench)__
128 degrees from cone number ___(4)___ to cone number ___(8, on oak tree)___
- Fourth Course Trial:
- This is the most challenging trial.
- Students are provided maps of the area noting objects and general terrain.
- On the 3" x 5" card, list the compass headings to the marks.
- Get a little "fancy" this time; put marks on opposite sides of buildings or objects that students must go around and relocate their compass heading.
- Students mark their cards as in Trial 3.
Excerpted from P.E. Teacher's Complete Fitness & Skills Development Activities Program.