|Definition||:||North East West South|
|Category||:||Miscellaneous » Etymology (Word Origins)|
Students take note of the sun’s position in the morning and evening and connect it to the directions east or west. Students practice moving north, west, south, and west, as well as using cardinal directions to read a map.
Make 10 large yellow paper suns out of construction paper. Write large letters in the north, south and east on white construction paper. Place the words east/west on the west and east walls of the classroom. To ensure that the correct placement is achieved, you can download the compass application on your smartphone or tablet.
For five days, tell students to look out for the sun every morning and afternoon. Have students go outside at the beginning and end of school to observe the sun in the sky. As students are identifying the location of sun in the sky, they can then go outside to tell them it is east. In the classroom, have students write the date and the time on a suncutout. Then place it near the location of the word “east”.
It is important not to say that the sun moves. Students will likely see that the sun moves, and not the Earth. However, it is too young for them to attempt to understand the Earth’s movement around the sun or on its axis. Students should be able to understand that east is a specific direction, and that the sun rises in the east every morning.
Ask students to observe the sun at the end of school and see if it is still in the same place as earlier in the day. Have students identify the direction of west. They can then place a suncutout with the date and hour next to the “west“.
For five days, track the sun’s position and ask students to identify a pattern. Write a sentence together that describes what they’ve seen and what they expect to see in future.
Next, use one or more of the following ideas to ground students’ understanding of north and south in physical reality. Then, add the labels north and south to your classroom walls.
Students can practice the directions by facing north, turning at right angles, and then pointing. They should name the directions “north,” “south,” east, east, west, and west several times. Use a phrase like “Never Eat Sour Watermelon” to help students remember N, S and E. Or have them come up with their own phrase.
Students can also use cardinal directions for talking about movement. Have students play Simon Says, and ask them to take steps in various directions.
For a final practice game, have a volunteer go to the hall to hide an item for the class. The volunteer should return to the classroom. Students can then guide the volunteer one by one to the hidden object using phrases like “walk five steps to the north,” or “walk three to the south,” etc.
Talk to students about why you use certain words to give directions. Ask students to share their knowledge about directions. We can also use direction words to help us read maps.
Each student should be given a map of Joe’s Farm. Place the maps on each student’s desks and ask them to orient them so that the directions on the wall correspond with the north, south, west, and middle of the map.
Discuss with your partner where the farm’s items are located on the map. Ask: Which pig pen is closest to the east, north, or south on the farm map? (east). One pig escaped. Which side is the pig on? __S.48__ If you need to, give examples like:
To get to the barn, the cow walks _____. (west)
The children walk _____ to get to the chickens. (south).
To get to the pig pen, the pig walks _____. (east)
The _____ is the garden of the pigs. (north).
The north side of the farm is where the _____ lives. (cow).
Students can continue practicing the directions N, S,E, W by asking them to pass their papers to the north, south and east. They can also be asked to line up on either the north or west sides of the room.
For comprehension and understanding, check students’ sentences using the Map of Joe’s Farm.
Take care when you are looking at the sun. Ask them to point quickly in the direction that the sun is shining. Then, have them move their arms towards the sky so that the sun meets the land. This direction should be east.