Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Teaching Latitude and Longitude

       The first chapter in 5th grade Social Studies includes the lines of latitude and longitude.  I like to use hands on learning in my classroom.  Foldables and interactive lessons  are a big part of my instruction.  I found this idea a few years ago.  I can not take any credit for it.   middleschoolmouth.blogspot.com    has this foldable.  I believe that is where I found it.

The paper plate did not want to lay flat.

   Today I am linking up with Stephanie for Show and Tell Tuesday .


  Basically, we begin with a very inexpensive paper plate. I use the thinest paper plates I can find because they are the easiest for the kids to fold.  The plate is folded in half, opened up, and folded in half again.  Then I had the kids draw over the 1st fold with a red marker and the second intersecting fold with a green marker. Using separate colors helps my kids see the difference in the information.

        Next, we labeled the ends of each line  with zero degrees N, S, E, and W.  The line that runs from north to south is labeled Longitude Line and Prime Meridian. The line that runs from west to east is labeled Latitude Line and Equator.

      This basic foldable is great for 4th and 5th graders.  A more detailed design can be constructed for 5th or 6th graders. 

    By making a fold from the outer edge of the circle to the Equator or Prime Meridian will result in the 60 degrees line. 

        I have my students keep this foldable in their Social Studies dou-tang.  The plate is attached with glue to a sheet of paper.   After the glue is dry, the plate can be folded up for secure storage.

       My students really like to use foldables.  Foldables make the information easier for the kids to digest,  understand, and be able to explain to to their parents and their classmates.

       What do you use to explain Longitude and Latitude to your students?

I would enjoy reading your comments.  So leave me a message any time.

Have a great school year!



  1. That is a great idea for teaching latitude and longitude! Thanks for linking up!

    Forever in Fifth Grade

  2. Love this idea! It's such a great visual for your students.

  3. I love your foldable. I don't teach Social Studies but I will share with my teaching partner.