Saturday, August 15, 2015

First Week of School & a Freebie

The frist week of the 2015 - 2016 school year is over and let me tell you I am one tired teacher! We had a super busy week in 5th grade and one of the highlights was getting to spend some extra time outside learning about relative and absolute location. 
We started off by spending a day talking about relative location and giving directions to places from our school. Students were responsible for written down directions to their house, and then sharing them with a partner. They all loved getting to share where their house was, and especially getting to hear about where my house is. We spent time discussing the cardinal directions and how we can use maps for relative location. At the end of the first day students worked to give relative locations from places in the United States. If you want this freebie, just click the picture below. 

On the second day of this lesson we reviewed relative location and then I chose several students to pick random items from our classroom to take outside. When we first got outside I had the students lay down their items wherever they wanted on our basketball court. Then we had blindfolded volunteers listen to directions to the random objects. We discussed how helpful the directions where and what made good directions to the objects. The kids really loved this part, especially those who got to be blindfolded. 
After this review of relative location, I had several students work together to create a grid. Once the grid was made, we placed the objects in the squares and students then gave directions to each objects. They determined that using the grid helped them give more exact locations for the objects. We then worked to make a definition of absolute location. 

After we spent our time outside, we went back to the classroom and focused on lines of latitude. Its pretty confusing for 5th graders to understand that even though the lines run east and west, they are labeled and read north and south. I have found that by teaching them the saying "latitude is flatiude" it really helps them remember the difference. 
Next week we are going to put latitude and longitude together and head back out side to our parking lot that has the United States painted on it!

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