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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Giving Students a Little Latitude

Africa, Asia, Central America and Mexico, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, Pacific Islands, South America, The Caribbean, Burkina Faso
Grades 6-8
Social Studies & Geography

Students will use a world outline map to locate places using coordinates of latitude and longitude.


  • Students will find points on a grid using latitude and longitude as identifiers.
  • Students will answer questions about places based on their knowledge of the map and on their research.



  1.  Give students the accompanying world map worksheet. Have them work individually or with a partner to number and name the lines of latitude and longitude—the parallels and meridians. Have them find and name the continents and the oceans. You may want them to add other features.
  2. When students have the grid and continents labeled, ask them to solve the following "riddles":
    1. A ship is sinking at 15° N 30° W. In which ocean is it located? (North Atlantic Ocean) What is the nearest land? (Cape Verde Islands)
    2. Which would you be more likely to find at 10°N 170°E, a tropical island or an iceberg? (a tropical island) Where is this? (Marshall Islands)
    3. If you visit a friend at 70°N 90°E, will you need a bathing suit or a warm jacket? (a warm jacket) Where would you be visiting? (Russia)
    4. If you found yourself at 20°N 10°E, would you more likely build a sand castle or an igloo? (a sand castle) What country would you be in? (Niger)
    5. If you were a nature photographer at 20°S 45°E, would you more likely be taking pictures of a lemurs or kangaroos? (lemurs) What country are you in? (Madagascar)
    6. If you were traveling in the area around 20°S 60°W, would you be better off on a horse or in a boat? (on a horse) Where are you? (In Paraguay)
  3. Have your students work together to make up more questions of this sort for each other to answer. Ask them to use information from your classroom geography resources, including the World Wise Schools materials (videos, study guides, and website) to formulate their riddles. 

Frameworks & Standards

Geography Standard:

How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.

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