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"Longitude and Latitude on the Ceiling"

Greg English
Oak Park Middle School

"Needing a large visual for teaching longitude and latitude I sat in my classroom staring at the ceiling hoping an idea would come to me - and it did in the form of the metal grids holding up the ceiling tiles"


First: After counting off the number of grids I had in my room, I went to our school board's media center and produce small 5" x 9" placards labeled "0 degrees", "10 degrees", "20 degrees", and so on. I made enough in my case to measure my room from 0-170 degrees longitude and from 20 degrees south to 90 degrees North. I also taped to the ceiling grids black arrows labeled N, S, E, and W. (see photos)

Second: I then labeled index cards with various coordinates to match what I had in my new grid such as 30N-90W, 10N-120W, 80N-20W. Towards the end of a class period of teaching longitude and latitude on paper, I divided the class into teams and gave each member a coordinate. The entire team had to be in the right places for them to get an extra credit point. They could help each other just as long as when "TIME" was called, everyone was 'in their place'.

Third: Later activities will have teams plot the path of a storm, then when TIME iscalled, link hands and show the path of the storm. Another activity has students plotting on paper where a random group of students are sitting. Using my new grid gives me all types of possibilities for interactive "plotting".



Louisiana Difference
louisiana101.com website copyright 2001 Greg English