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Lesson Plan

Compass Rose for the New Millennium by ECSDM


Social Studies (NYS K-12 Framework Common Core)

Grade Levels

3rd Grade


The key to reading maps and locating directions on a globe is being able to identify the cardinal and intermediate directions. The unit on geography is traditionally taught the first month of the school year. Teachers focus on reviewing and building on prior geographical concepts and skills.

The lesson on the compass rose can be used to introduce or review these key ideas. Moreover, it can be combined with getting to know students and their interests. It is a lesson that can be incorporated into any social studies classroom from elementary to intermediate.


Approximately two forty-five minute lessons


The students will be able to:

  • recognize cardinal and intermediate directions on the compass rose
  • create a personal interest compass rose

Materials/Web Resources

United Streaming, "Understanding and Using Maps and Globes: Compass Rose: Cardinal Directions'' "Maps and Globes: Globes and Their Use: Compass Rose"

    Col, Jeananda. Enchanted Learning.http://www.EnchantedLearning.com 1998-2006
Materials for compass rose:
  • 8 by 10 oak tag paper or light colored construction or white copy paper
  • colored pencils or crayons
  • magazines, newspapers or illustrations created by hand
  • Procedure

    Day One:

    • Teacher will illicit responses to the question, "What is the purpose of labeling directions on a map?"

    • Teacher will have the objective written on the SMART Board.

    • Teacher will introduce the objective.

    • Students will copy the objective into their notebook.

    • Teacher will identify the cardinal directions on the SMART Board.

    • After students view slide #2 on the SMART Board, teacher will play the video clip.

    • Teacher will introduce the intermediate directions on the SMART Board.

    • Students will label the cardinal and intermediate directions on the SMART Board.

    Day Two:

    • Teacher will discuss the historical context of the compass rose.

    • Teacher will introduce the task for the creation of the compass rose.

    • Students will view a video clip on the compass rose.

    • Task: You have been hired to create a compass rose for a company that makes compass roses named New Millennium Compass Rose. This company wants to put compass roses on maps that people in this time period can relate to. Your job is to create a compass rose with a theme that people would like to see on maps

    • Students will view compass roses used and created by early explorers and cartographers on the SMART Board.

    • Students will view samples of compass roses created on computer and by students on the SMART Board.

    • Students will be given the materials needed to create the compass rose.

    • Students will complete the compass rose as a homework assignment.


    Day One:

    • Students will complete the compass rose activity sheet.

    Day Two:

    Materials and Resources

    Compass Rose Lesson.notebook
    Compass Rose Video Clip

    SMART Board

    The instructional content was intended for use with a SMART Board. The .xbk file below can only be opened with SMART Notebook software.

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