5th Grade Mapping and Navigation

Updated: May 3

This two-afternoon adventure was designed to get students thinking about backcountry navigation in a new area, using a map, and keeping a "mental map."




Students first explored new areas of the forest without a map. They did some off-trail hiking between trails, and discovered several new areas of the forest.


When we returned to the classroom, the class collaboratively tried to plot the route they had just taken on the map.


Next, as a class, they designed a new route using only the map. This route used a combination of off-trail and on-trail hiking.


Finally, students as a class tried to follow a printed copy of that map to complete the route they had designed. Working as a group, they were successful, and even made it to the Bare Hill Lookout! They did find that they had designed a longer hike than they thought - nearly 3 miles!




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