Monday, 3 November 2014

Learning about Maps - Latitude and Longitude

Earlier this year, my son (9yrs old) was interested in geography so we began learning about world continents, before exploring Continent box of Africa and world landmarks. Recently we have been doing some travelling so we have been using maps and a GPS during our adventures. So naturally my son was interested in maps and the GPS and how they help us find our way. Here are some of the activities he has done to learn about maps and I will share my FREE printable cards too.

When we returned home from our roadtrip adventure, my son wanted to explore maps further. My son had previously used the Google Earth app on his ipad to locate different world landmarks. I had purchased two Safari Toobs, Around the World and World Landmarks from Mini Zoo to support his previous learning. So this time, he used the same safari toobs but extended his own learning by using Google Earth on the laptop as this gave more information in relation to latitude and longitude. My son wanted to record each location as he found them so I put together a simple table (this table is included in the free printable below) for him to record his findings

Once my son had searched Google Earth for the world landmark, he recorded the exact location on his sheet using the degrees of latitude and longitude. He then used our world map to find the landmarks location by using the information (degrees of latitude and longitude) that he had recorded.

To support my sons learning further I put together a set of three-part cards. These cards focus on building an understanding of mapping terminology as well as a understanding map reading. I introduced each set of cards one at a time and we spent several days learning about each set. I also made information cards so a greater understanding was gained.

Card Set One
With the first set of cards, we looked at lines of latitude and longitude as well as the Prime Meridian. We used a string of wool to outline the prime meridian on our world map as well as some of the lines of latitude and longitude. This made his learning hands-on as he searched for each area on our map.

Card Set Two
The second set of cards looks at the five main lines of latitude; equator, tropic of cancer, tropic of capricorn, antarctic circle and arctic circle. Each card comes with a matching definition cards as well. My son wanted to place these cards on our world map in their exact location. We used our Australia map to find the Tropic of Capricorn as it runs right through our country. We used a string of wool to mark it on our map.

We used strings of wool again and our world map to outline the tropic of cancer as well as the equator. My son used our cards to label each line.

Card Set Three
We used the third set of cards to learn about the four different hemispheres of the earth; northern, southern, eastern and western. This helped my son to be able to locate these regions on the world map by using the control card.

Card Set Four
We also used the last set of cards to learn about the different temperature zones on earth. These zones include the polar region, temperate region and the tropical region. My son placed these cards on our Australia map again to see the location each region is in and outlined the equator which separates the tropical zone from the temperate zone.

My son has more plans for his geography learning which including Geocaching so he can go treasuring hunting and make good use of our GPS. This activity will have to wait until the weather is cooler so it won't be until next year at this stage. 

Some of the books we used for our geography learning included World Atlas (National Geographic Kids (Paperback) and Nine o'Clock Lullaby by Marilyn Singer (affiliate links). If you would like a copy of my geography and map reading three-part cards, you can download them from CLICKING HERE.

If you'd like to see more hands-on geography learning ideas, you can find them on my Geography - Map Pinterest Board.

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  1. Love these new cards... I'll be putting them on our Montessori shelves for our 'Montessori at Home' home education room. Thanks for making them free oxo

  2. This is just an amazing resource! Thank you so much for sharing at with Kids Learning Printable Linky Party