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Students learn about and practice the skill of map orientation by navigating a variety of courses on a grid pattern.


  • Map orientation

  • Following directions

  • Map reading

  • Counting


  • 9 cones per grid (Recommended ~3-4 students/grid)

  • Written Numbers (three of each number from 1-3)

  • Direction courses

  • Grid courses

  • Challenge courses

  • Answer key


Orienteering is reading a map to know where to go. Students must follow a secret path through a grid. In order to follow the path, they must hold their map in the correct direction. They will not be able to find their way through the grid if they do not hold their map in the correct direction. As they go, they will keep track of the numbers on the cones, and these numbers will be used to determine if they went through the grid correctly or not.


1-100 Relay: Students work in pairs to collect objects and circle numbers on a sheet of paper. One student runs out to retrieve an object, while the other student circles. When the student with an object returns, they switch roles. First team to circle up through 100 wins!


Grid-O: This activity is ordered in a progression to gradually layer in the map orientation skill. The first grid has students following a sequence of arrows, much like the Animal-O. The second part involves a basic map of the 3x3 grid. In the third grid, students must pay closer attention to the relationship between the spots in the grid, and which direction they must travel to find their way through. 


  • Was it ever challenging to keep your map facing the same direction? Why was that? 

  • Which level was the most challenging? What made some more/less challenging than others? 

  • What happened if the map was no longer facing the correct direction? Why does it make a difference?

  • Did you change anything about how you moved to make sure your map always faced the correct direction?

  • Can you think of any other ways to make sure your map is always facing the right direction?


Invisible Route: Students work together to find their way through a secret path in a larger grid. Each student steps through the grid one space at a time until they step on the wrong spot. Through trial and error, the class will figure out the correct route to the other side.


There are multiple variations of Grid-O. If students have trouble with one version, it is possible that an alternative approach might provide more clarity. Every student will learn differently, so it is important to observe what works and doesn't work for each student.

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