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Teach Latitude and Longitude

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Here's an easy way to teach latitude and longitude. The teacher should model each of the following steps for the student.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 10 Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Use a large wall map or overhead map.
  2. Create a latitude/longitude chart on the board. See Related Features below for an example.
  3. Hand out blank charts like the one on the board for students to complete with you.
  4. Select three cities to demonstrate.
  5. For Latitude: Find the equator. Determine if the city is north or south of the equator. Mark N or S in the chart on the board.
  6. Determine which two lines of latitude the city is in between.
  7. Show how to determine the midpoint by splitting the difference between the two lines from step seven.
  8. Determine if the city is closer to the midpoint or one of the lines.
  9. Estimate the degrees Latitude, and write the answer in the chart on the board.
  10. For Longitude, Find the prime meridian. Determine if the city is East or West of the Prime Meridian. Mark E or W in the chart on the board.
  11. Determine which two lines of longitude the city is in between.
  12. Determine the midpoint by splitting the difference between the two lines.
  13. Determine if the city is closer to the midpoint or one of the lines.
  14. Estimate the degrees Longitude, and write the answer in the chart on the board.

Tips:

  1. Emphasize that latitude always measures north and south, and longitude always measures east and west.
  2. Stress that when doing the measuring, students should be 'hopping' from line to line, not dragging their fingers along one line. Otherwise they will be measuring in the wrong direction.

What You Need

  • Wall or Overhead Map
  • Chalkboard
  • Chalk
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