Maths and Maps

The National Navigation Award scheme has a set of junior awards especially designed for the younger navigators. These are particularly suitable for junior schools and they cover many aspects of the numeracy curriculum. It is a great way to teach using a different and creative method which engages those, that for the classroom is not an environment that appeals to their learning style.

This lesson was for year 3 pupils but can be adapted and differentiated for other ages. Using the classroom area we made a map of the desks on their whiteboards to understand how to orientate the map to the surroundings.

Each pupil then used their water bottle, which had their name on and placed it around the room as a control. They then marked the position of the water bottle on their map, which they then in turn stopped their maps to find their partners bottle. Much excitement then ensued as they set out on their journey of discovery searching for the bottles.

The next step was to draw six circles on their white board. This was towards helping with understanding of scale and positioning. This represented six cones of two different colours. They labelled the cones according to the colours of their cones. Then picking one of the cones on their map they circled the cone using a Triangle, the international Orienteering symbol for the ‘Start’. The class got quite excited they were using Olympic language in their symbols.

Each pupil had to orientate the map and go to that cone which was part of the pattern in front of them. The next step was to draw a line from this cone to another representative of a journey leg. They then had to make this journey, after which another 2 legs were added. At each step they had to orientate the map using the cones as reference. Once they had completed their journey they exchanged their map with partner in their group so they could follow their map. After this they swopped with another group using a different set of cones. The next stage was to place the cones in the same pattern but further apart, so each leg was a greater distance.

There was much excitement and running around following each other’s maps, this was a great way to introduce physical literacy and practicing following routes in a way which was a fun method of learning.

With a few more little activities added to their navigation understanding gave the class the opportunity to complete the Bronze National Navigator Award and have a certificate given them in assembly. What a great way to reward a maths lesson.

Taking this activity to the next levels add more cones to the pattern and use set maps for the competitors to follow.

To add another twist and to bring numeracy into the navigation put a number under each cone. At each cone on the route add the numbers together for a mental maths problem.

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