Absolute Location – Grade Five
Use map elements or
coordinates to locate
physical and human
features of North America.
Use coordinates of latitude
and longitude to determine
the absolute location of
points in North America.
Everything on the Earth has its own location. In order for
students to be able to understand absolute location, they
will experience a variety of activities using latitude and
longitude. Using maps, books and other classroom
resources, students will discover how to locate the
coordinates of a point. Students also will use the terms
associated with this skill such as latitude lines, longitude
lines, parallels, degrees, equator, hemispheres, meridians,
North Pole, South Pole and the Prime Meridian.
Estimated Duration: Six to eight hours
The activities in this lesson should be reviewed throughout
the school year. As the students progress through the school
year, they will record facts and vocabulary in social studies
learning logs or journals. At the end of the lesson, students
will share, discuss and review the facts, vocabulary and
questions they recorded in their learning logs.
Students will create a life-size classroom grid and actively
use coordinates. While practicing as a whole class, in
groups and in pairs, students will have multiple
opportunities to process information in a variety of settings.
This also gives the teacher more time to work with
individual students needing further assistance.
One field test participant commented that students were
really challenged and interested in the topic. The participant
also stated, “Constructing the grid gave the students and me
and all visitors to the room a new view of maps.” Another
field test participant also mentioned that students benefited
from the physical aspects of this lesson: “We used the floor
tiles, but we a