This activity is designed for students in 5th grade, as well as any students working on latitude and longitude and/or coordinate grids. It is intended to help students better understand how latitude and longitude can be used to describe various places on Earth. In addition to practicing map reading skills, students will have the opportunity to build connections between latitude and longitude and such mathematical concepts as coordinate grids, axes, and coordinate pairs.
Grades 3-5 | D2.Geo.2.3-5 – Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their environmental characteristics. |
5th Grade | CCSS.Math.Content.5.G.A.1 – Use a pair of perpendicular number lines, called axes, to define a coordinate system, with the intersection of the lines (the origin) arranged to coincide with the 0 on each line and a given point in the plane located by using an ordered pair of numbers, called its coordinates. Understand that the first number indicates how far to travel from the origin in the direction of one axis, and the second number indicates how far to travel in the direction of the second axis, with the convention that the names of the two axes and the coordinates correspond (e.g., x-axis and x-coordinate, y-axis and y-coordinate). |
CCSS.Math.Content.5.G.A.2 – Represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane, and interpret coordinate values of points in the context of the situation. |
Students will be able to define latitude and longitude.
Students will be able to make connections between the graticule, latitude, and longitude and a coordinate grid, x-axis, and y-axis.
Students will be able to use what they know about the graticule to read maps and identify specific locations using latitude and longitude.
• Building Blocks of Geography series, specifically Maps and Earth in Space
• Scratch paper
• Pencils
• Latitude and Longitude Worksheet (1 per student)
Use the Think, Pair, Share strategy to discuss the following questions. In this strategy, students first think independently, pair with someone near them, and share their thoughts.
a. How is the graticule similar to and different from a grid reference system?
b. Consider the coordinate grid you know from math class. How is the graticule similar to and different from a coordinate grid?