Cardinal Directions for 1st-2nd Graders

Our wonderful group of second-graders-to-be got together again; this time for a lesson in cardinal directions.

We talked about magnets and how they are pulled by the Earth’s magnetism.  We then made our own compass by putting a magnet with the North and South ends labeled, into a tiny bowl, to float freely in a bigger bowl of water.  We watched as the tiny bowl turned so the “N” pointed toward the north of our Earth.  The compass looks like this:



I drew a compass rose on the ground, to get them familiar with how that symbol directly corresponds with geographical North, South, East, and West.

Next, we did a worksheet activity that used a visual map to help the kids learn how to use cardinal directions.  I used this one.



Next, I told them I had already hidden an object on the south side of the playground.  They got crazy excited to go find it.  They hid it a few more times, then I corralled them for another activity.

We used our cardinal directions and spatial-relational skills to do a fun floor plan activity.  They enjoyed it more than I expected!  I used this one.

Butterfly Questions

We had a blast with this lesson!  As we walked out of the park, I looked down and saw a compass rose was embedded in the cement at the entrance.  Fun tie-up as we left!

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