Lost on the Trace
- Grade Level:
- Fourth Grade
- Geography, Social Studies
- 15 minutes or more
- Group Size:
- Up to 36
- National/State Standards:
- 1,3e, 3h social studies, mapping
- cardinal direction, compass, map
OverviewThe students will be divided into pairs and they will pretend they are “Lost on the Trace”. They will be racing against each other to reach their destination by following the directions on a card.
Enduring Understanding: Geographers use tolls like globes, maps and compasses to gather and analyze data.
Essential Question: How do you find North on a compass?
The students will be able to:
1) Identify cardinal and intermediate directions
2) give directions using cardinal and intermediate directions so that students end up at a predetermined location
3) follow directions using cardinal and intermediate directions so that students end up at a predetermined location
BackgroundEarly travelers on the Natchez Trace may get off the trail and find themselves lost. A compass would help travelers to keep moving in the right direction and reach their final destinations.
1.) 5 laminated pictures of locations on the Natchez Trace
2.) Direction cards
3.) Answer Key
4.) Marker to indicate starting point
Student Task: Follow instructions and work as a team. The students will receive a card with directions and will follow the directions on it using a compass.
1.) Have the students gather near a predetermined starting point.
2.) Give each pair of students a Direction Card in an envelope and a compass.
3.) On the go signal, students will remove their cards from the envelope and follow the directions written on them. They must start off at the marked starting point.
4.) When they reach their destinations, they should remain by the picture until a teacher checks to see if they reached the correct location.
Teacher Closure: Ask the students to imagine following directions in a heavily forested area. Have them discuss what obstacles they might encounter along the way.
AssessmentParticipation in the activity and success in following directions to the correct location.
Park ConnectionsWill teach students how to navigate parks using a compass.
ExtensionsHave the students participate in a similar activity on the school grounds or classroom. One student can give directions and the other student can follow them.
VocabularyNatchez Trace, Kaintuck, Boatman