Pathfinders Post-Camp Lesson Plan

(Grade 4-6)


While at Heartland Conference Retreat Center, students had the opportunity to learn how a compass works and how to follow directions using a compass. This lesson takes the concept a step further by adding maps. Students will practice drawing and reading maps and see how compasses and maps work together to help a person find their way.


  • Students will be able to label the parts of a map
  • Students will be able to find real life objects based on a map
  • Students will practice using both a compass and a map


Grade 4:

  • A map scale and cardinal and intermediate directions can be used to describe the relative location of physical and human characteristics of Ohio and the United States.

Grade 5:

  • Globes and other geographic tools can be used to gather, process and report information about people, places and environments. Cartographers decide which information to include in maps.
  • Latitude and longitude can be used to make observations about location and generalizations about climate.

Grade 6:

  • Globes and other geographic tools can be used to gather, process and report information about people, places and environments. Cartographers decide which information to include and how it is displayed.
  • Latitude and longitude can be used to identify absolute location.


  •       Paper
  •       Writing utensils
  •       Compass
  •       “Treasure” student brings in to hide (Have it be something small and inexpensive like a McDonanld’s toy or gumball machine prize. You could also pass out simple prizes so they do not have to bring things from home and it is fair. Examples could be stickers, erasers, pencils, etc.)


This lesson takes place in the classroom, in the school yard, and at home.


  •         Parts of a map                                         –                                           30 min – 1 hr
  •         Designing a treasure map                     –                                          1 hour
  •         Scavenger Hunt                                      –                                           1- 2 hours
  •         Mapping the neighborhood                 –                                           homework


Now that you have developed skills in using a compass, you need to learn how to navigate using it. A compass tells you very little if you do not have a map or other directions to go with it. We learned about how to use a compass while we are at camp so now we will talk about maps. Before we practice using maps, let us learn about some of the vocabulary.

  • CARTOGRAPHY – the making of maps
  • TITLE – the title of the map. It should be descriptive enough so that people know what they are looking at
  • COMPASS ROSE – shows which direction is north on the map
  • CARDINAL DIRECTIONS – North, South, East, and West
  • SCALE – It allows people to determine distances in real life between points on the map by measuring the distance on the map. For example, 1 inch on the map may equal 10 miles in real life.
  • LEGEND OR KEY – tells people what the symbols on the map mean
  • LATITUDE – imaginary line that circles the earth parallel to the equator. It tells how far away from the equator a person is. It describes North and south distances
  • LONGITUDE – an imaginary line the circles the earth and runs perpendicular to the equator. It describes east and west distances.

Label the parts of the map, worksheet


Tell the kids that they will now get the chance to practice drawing maps. Take the kids outside to the school yard. Give them paper and some sort of writing utensil. If you have a compass, have them use it to figure out which way is north. Separate them into groups and have each group construct a map of the school yard with proper labels for each part of the map.

To take this activity a step further, you can have students bring in some sort of white elephant type prize to hide somewhere in the school yard. The group can then create directions using a compass that leads to the “treasure” they can write the directions on the back of their map. They should have at least 4 steps before reaching the treasure. Have them mark the starting point on the map.

The groups should switch maps and try to find the other groups treasure. Have them mark on the map with a dot the location of each stop. Have them mark on the map with an “X” the location of the treasure.


As a homework assignment, the students can map their houses, neighborhoods, routes to school, etc.

Parts of a Map Worksheet

The following is a map of a made up campground around an imaginary lake called Awesome Lake. Please label each part of the map.


Use the following words to label the parts of the map:

  • West
  • South
  • Legend
  • North
  • Title
  • East
  • Compass Rose
  • Scale

Question: Latitude and Longitude were not present on this map. Why do you think this is?