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Wayfinding and Directions


Grades: All

Select and identify locations for each group of students to find. Have each group of students write directions to the location, using relative directions such as ‘left’, ‘right’, ‘straight ahead’, and so on. Regroup and ask the students to give their directions to another team, without that team knowing where the destination is. How easy were the directions to follow? Repeat this activity using cardinal directions, such as ‘north’, and ‘southeast’. Regroup and compare the ease of using cardinal directions versus relative directions. Is there a difference? Why? Discuss: When are cardinal directions more appropriate in day-to-day living, and when are relative directions more suitable?