Middle School PE Lesson Ideas
Name of Activity: Orienteering Scavenger Hunt
Purpose of Activity: The students will take a reading with a compass and use the compass to reach multiple checkpoints.
Prerequisites: Travelling, directions such as north, south, east, and west.
Suggested Grade Level: 6-12
Materials Needed: Compasses (one for every student), one demonstration compass (either large one or overhead), balloons, poly spots, and direction cards.
Description of Idea
Begin class by telling the students that orienteering is a race to find different control markers hidden in back country using only a map and compass. The first thing they need to learn before orienteering is how to use a compass.
Demonstrate use of a compass with a large demonstration compass or an overhead projector. The students should be able to identify the following compass parts;
To use the compass, hold the compass level so the magnetic needle turns freely. Rotate the compass dial to a desired bearing (so the sighting line falls directly on a bearing such as 90 degrees which is east). Hold the compass so that the back of the compass (part of the compass base opposite the direction of travel arrow) is at your belly button. Keeping the back of the compass at your belly button, turn in a circle until the red end of the magnetic needle lines up with zero degrees (north) on the compass dial. The direction of travel arrow now points to the bearing set on your compass. For more information on using a compass, go to www.learn-orienteering.org/.
Walk the students through the cues and repeat the steps to face different directions and bearings. Practice travelling at specific bearings by setting the compass to a bearing, picking a spot on the gym wall that the directional arrow points to, and walking towards that spot.
After the students have grasped the reading of a compass then you can start them on a Scavenger Hunt. If they need more time learning how to read the compass then you may want to come back the next day to do the Scavenger Hunt.
Orienteering Scavenger Hunt
Set up the scavenger hunt by spreading poly spots on the floor of the activity area. Write the following directions on different scraps of paper so that each course is on a different piece of paper:
Begin the activity by having students spilt up into pairs. Stress the fact that they never travel alone! They may be in a team of three if you have an odd number of students in class. One partner goes to a poly spot on the floor and the other partner gets a balloon and meets their partner at the spot. They pop the balloon and get the directions out of it. Make sure they pick the balloon up after they pop it. Each student uses their own compass, but they travel as a team according to the directions. The directions on the sheet of paper will lead them back to where they began--the poly spot.
Variations: The balloon idea is optional. Use a penny or a small marker that is more difficult to see instead of the polyspots. I got pictures of lots of cool parks all over the world and used these and told the students that this is the area that they were travelling in.
The balloon idea is optional.
Use a penny or a small marker that is more difficult to see instead of the polyspots.
I got pictures of lots of cool parks all over the world and used these and told the students that this is the area that they were travelling in.
Assessment Ideas: Have students write how many steps away from their poly spot they ended up.
Have students write how many steps away from their poly spot they ended up.
Teaching Suggestions: The compass will not be accurate if used next to metal objects such as watches, belt buckles, and metal poles. Make sure students pick a reference point on the wall when walking, rather than always watching their compass. Have everyone practice facing different directions/bearings before travelling.
The compass will not be accurate if used next to metal objects such as watches, belt buckles, and metal poles.
Make sure students pick a reference point on the wall when walking, rather than always watching their compass.
Have everyone practice facing different directions/bearings before travelling.
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10/24/2014 12:49:25 PM EST