Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Meet Me at My House
Bay District Schools
Students improve their writing skills by writing directions from school to their houses to give to a friend. The directions must be sequential and include direction words (north, south, east, west), landmarks and specific street names.
The student organizes information using alphabetical, chronological, and numerical systems.
The student uses mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments.
- Paper (pencils, crayons, etc. ) for the map
- Overhead or chart paper
- Maps w/landmarks and street names (class set)
- Maps of the city or bus routes
- Checklists (See associated files.)
1. Collect maps of the city or bus routes.
2. Make a transparency of a map.
3. Copy a map for the students if desired. (class set)
4. Duplicate copies of Checklist for each student (see Associated file.)
5. Locate materials (paper, pencils, crayons, etc.) needed for making the maps.
1. As a lead-in to the lesson, ask these questions to your students, “Have you ever been given directions to a friend’s house and the directions were so unorganized that you had to call them at least 10 times before you actually got there? How did that make you feel? What things (landmarks) did your friend tell you to look for to assist you in the journey to their house? How many of you can tell me how to get to your house from the school?” See how many hands go up. Then tell them that all of them will get a chance to tell and show you how to get to their house in this lesson.
2. Distribute a copy of the checklist. Review the information covered on the checklist with the students. Let them know that the information on the checklist will be used in scoring the completed assignment.
3. Now, distribute the map(s) that you have collected to use in teaching the lesson to each student. Give the students a few minutes to look over the maps and discuss with each other. Have the students identify some of the things that they have noticed on the map. This is an ideal time to discuss landmarks, the compass rose, and direction words.
4. Choose two destinations on the map. One will be your starting point and the other will be your ending point. Then have the students tell you, sequentially, how to get from point A to point B. Review the directions with the class by writing them on a piece of chart paper or the overhead. Be sure to include landmarks, street names, and direction words on a compass rose. Check for clarification by asking questions about landmarks, compass rose, street names, and direction words.
5. Ask students to think about how to get from school to their own homes. Tell them to make a mental map (a map in their heads) of the landmarks, streets, and directions that are on the route between school and home. Remind them that their mental maps must be sequential, so they must include all landmarks, etc. in order from school to home.
6. Model making a mental map by thinking aloud how to get from school to your home (or the mall, or another location known to the students). As you think aloud, model labeling landmarks, streets, and directions.
7. Distribute pieces of paper for the students to use when designing their maps. Have each student use his mental map to design a creative map showing how to get from school to their house. The map should include a compass rose, labeled and identified landmarks, and real life street names. Tell the students that the map will be used as a graphic organizer to assist them in written directions later in the lesson. Remind the students to refer to the checklist for information needed on the map.
8. Allow the students to take their drawings home. Instruct them to make changes to their maps as they are riding in the car, on the bus, or walking.
9. When the students return to school on the next day, have them discuss the changes that were made to the maps and how their actual directions differed from their mental maps. Have the students use the checklist to make sure that they have all the information necessary for the maps.
10. Using the map from yesterday, model for the students how to take the information from the map and turn it written directions. You can do this by providing them with an example that you have created ahead of time. Or, you may choose to create one as you go.
11. Have the students write directions to their houses using their information from the map that they drew. Remind them to include accurate street names, landmarks, and direction words.
12. Have the students exchange maps and written directions with a partner. The partner will check to make sure that the written directions match with the map.
13. Collect the maps and written directions and score using the checklist.
14. Return the maps, written directions, and checklists to the students.
The lesson assesses organizing information using chronological systems and using a mental map to organize information about places. Students logically sequence information using a chronological system and must use a mental map to provide specific information while developing their individual maps. (See Associated File for checklist)
Have the students create a book for the class.
File Extension: pdf