Latitude Rhymes with "Fatitude" and people grow fat from side to side or east to west just like the Latitude lines. Longitude runs from North to South.

Geocaching! If you can borrow a couple of GPS units, go on a small "treasure hunt" for something on your school grounds.

We just started latitude/longitude. I have the students wave their arms side to side (like they're pulling taffy sideways) and say "Laatiiituuude" then they pull taffy up and down and say "Loooongituuude" to demonstrate which way the lines go.

Then I have a map with latitude and longitude lines on it. We start at one reference point 39N 75 W, for example. They have to get to 43N 79W by pulling a direction card and a card for number of spaces to go. So, if the card says N and 2. They go to 41N 75W. Then they pull W and 3, they have to go to 41N 78W. The goal is to get to your target point in as few cards as possible.

I show my kids how they can remember by the way their mouth moves when saying the words. When you say laaaaaatitude your mouth goes out side to side. When you say loooooooongitude you mouth goes up and down. Finding the coordinates on a map, however, is still a challange!

For younger, or inclusion, students, find a flat projection map that will fit on a regular sized piece of paper. Glue it onto cardstock.

Take two different colors of yarn, and thread one around the width, and one around the length, of the paper. They can move the strings until they intersect at the correct point.

For older kids, or those without learning issues, "just do it." I tell the kids I am not going to help them much by talking, it was one of those things we just had to do. They get it quickly once they practice. Big desk maps are the best, so they can run their fingers or the eraser end of a pencil along the lines.

I wish that the people who invented this and the people who invented coordinate graphing could have gotten together. If only we could teach the kids "over and up" and have it apply to all coordinate grids. But, noooooooo, in latitude and longitude, it's up and over.

Another, hands-on, way to teach longitude and latitude is to tape your floor with a grid pattern and have the students practice finding long. and lat. on the grid with their bodies. They like the movement and it helps them remember.

Make a visual for the kids...Latitude draw the lines on a sheet of paper, copy it & have the students put the names & addresses on the correct lines: North Pole 90 degrees N; Arctic Circle 66.5 degrees N; Tropic of Cancer 23.5 N; Equater 0 degrees...and so on. You can also make circles and have them fold them in half & draw the lines on them & then put the names & addresses on the Northern hemisphere; then do the Southern hemisphere; you can do the same to teach Eastern & Western Hemispheres with the Prime Meridian being the center line & the International Date line being the edge...showing west of & east of the PM.

Another visual would be the lines of latitude with a ladder (lat - ladder) and then add the names & addresses; for longitude draw the lines, add the PM and then have them right the word Longitude using one of the lines of longitude as the L.

Before you have them do lat/long on a map have them draw an alpha-numeric grid. Practice with it first to get the understanding of locating on a grid & then transfer to lat/long on a map.

A good alpha-numeric grid is a state map;before going onto a world map let them practice locating things around their state using the grid.

I was just about to post this site when I read your request for ideas. This came from a TeachersFirst newsletter that I received in email. They always have great resources in their newsletters!

If you are looking for a new way to teach longitude and latitude (that will make your students excited about geography class), look no further than this excellent website. The site, created by a teacher, provides an excellent introduction to latitude and longitude. The website offers expansive information, "kid-friendly" graphics (for example, did you ever think of longitude as a line of telephone polls), quizzes, and much more. If your students are learning about this challenging geography concept, help the material become more digestible by using this excellent resource. This website offers wonderful analogies to help students better understand the complexities of latitude and longitude. One of the activities challenges students to find the location of a sinking boat on a world map and send out a rescue team to help the survivors.

In the Classroom:
This website would be a perfect application of an interactive whiteboard. Why not use cooperative learning groups to complete the pre-test and activate your students' schema.

I taught 6th grade for 26 years and I used a "unique but different" way to get the idea across to my students. It never failed to get the idea across to them! Years later I even had kids come back to visit and remind me of this concept!!
I tell the kids to imagine that they are going travelling to a large city. They are standing on a curb (Equator) in their city with many cars buzzing by. When they were little their mother ALWAYS taught them to always look both ways LEFT and RIGHT BEFORE crossing the street. (This gets them the idea to look across the map first.) So, after they've looked to the left side of the street (map) they identify the latitude number if its closest to that side. As they look to the right side of the street (map) they identify the latitude number if its closest to that side of the map. Most kids get confused as to which number to look for first so this concept gets them used to the idea of looking across (for cars zooming by) first.
After they find the number that goes across the map I stress to them that this first number will ALWAYS have a N if it is North of the Equatoror a S if it is South of the Equator. I ask them am I above the Equator or below the Equator? If they end up with an E or a W after the first number they did it backwards.
The next part of the "travelling adventure" involves after they step off the curb (Equator) to start crossing the very busy street and they have already looked BOTH ways side to side, it is now time to start looking up and down as they move across the street. The reason for this up and down looking is because you are looking up to make sure that no birds are flying low enough over your head to "drop anything" on your head! And you are looking down at your feet to make sure that you are not walking in the same spot that possibly a horse walked in before you did...horses tend to drop where thay want to! Ugh! (The kids absolutely love this part of the story because it involves "messies" on their heads or possibly them stepping in it. They will definitely remember this method! As they are walking the rest of the way across the street, they have to pay VERY CAREFUL attention to the dangers up above their heads (look up for longitude numbers) and the dangers that lurk down by their feet (look down for longitude numbers). It is at this point that I stress to the kids that the second longitude number MUST have an E or a W after it telling me if its East or West of the Prime Meridian.
I go through MANY examples together with the kids on the overhead REPEATING the "LOOK BOTH WAYS ON THE CURB; CHECK FOR BIRD/HORSE DROPPINGS" story. They come to know this short phrase inside and out! I say it over and over for EVERY example. Then I have kids come to the overhead and lead the class through examples using the same LOOK BOTH WAYS;CHECK FOR BIRD/Horse DROPPINGS story. If they reverse the process, tell them that not only will they be laying in the street injured, but they'll either have bird droppings in their hair or horse droppings on their shoes! Not good! They love it! And they remember which way to look first, then second. Give it a try. Let me know how it goes!
Schottzie

Lat/Long BINGO for follow-up assessment. Give the students a BINGO card with a list of locations around the world. Have them fill in the board however they choose. Write the coordinates on the board and give a few min for the kids to find it. Discuss as a class. I did this with mine---they LOVED it. Mine worked in partners because I have a lot of special ed and lower level learners. Partners allowed for everyone to participate.

I've got a lot of handouts - personally made and professional looking, that a classroom teacher could use when teaching basic geography such as latitude/longitude, continent and ocean names, etc.

I would love to have a copy of your handouts. I'm teaching Longitude and Latitude to a group of 10th graders from NYC. Teaching Earth Science in an Urban Community can make you become very creative. I've noticed that a lot of the concepts in Earth Science are foreign to my students. Mostly because they live in the city and have had very little interaction with Nature. Anything will be helpful.

I wouldn't exactly call them 'fun', but I have made lots of handouts and work sheets for long and lat as well as a lot of other geog related things. CARLM86@cox.net

You as he teacher can read the book, Longitude, by Dava Sobel. It is available in paperback. Spend the extra money and get the new edition of the same book that is fully illustrated.

Then show your class the television produced movie Longitude based on Dava Sobel's book. It is available from A&E. Outstanding movie for a classroom.

I would like a copy of the handouts. I recently took a long term SS position and need additional support to the text book. Thank you so much. sc-campbell@msn.com

would like a copy of handouts send to my e-mail Davis403@hotmail.com
I am teaching 4th grade special needs students. I need all the hand-ons on geography that I can get. Especially Lat. and Long. Thanks

I use oranges each year to introduce this concept to my students. First they take a marker and mark the N and S poles; then they draw the equator. I then have them draw a line above the equator and one below. We label these as 45 degrees N and 45 degrees S. I use this time to discuss that these are parallel, are called latitude (you could climb like a ladder), and that north of the equator will have a measurement of N, measurements south will have S. I then use the ELMO to show a map that ONLY has latitude lines and we practice finding the latitude of certain locations. The students then draw a diagram of their orange in their notebooks.
Next, we peel the oranges. The lines on the orange that separate the sections represent longitude. We discuss how they are different from latitude (meet at top and bottom, different direction, etc). The students then carefully insert a toothpick into one line; this is the Prime Meridian. From this point we discuss naming E and W. They draw this in notebooks. I then use a map showing only longitude, and we practice finding longitude of certain places.
At this point, the students eat their oranges. The next day, we use a map showing both latitude and longitude to locate various places. The students then complete a worksheet of some kind while I pull small groups into the hall. I have a large piece of round cardboard (from the top of a patio table), index cards with various measurements (0 degrees latitude, 60 degrees N, 100 degrees W, etc), and long pieces of colored yarn. The students draw cards and work with a partner to put the yarn in the correct spots. I assess whether the pieces are put parallel for lat, or meet at top and bottom for long. After they have constructed their grid, they draw cards with various cities and their measurements. The students then work together to place the cities where they belong.

I think your lesson is teaching the students incorrectly. You said to first look side to side to see numbers. That should be the second thing you do, as it is the N/S coordinates that come first. They should first be looking in front and behind them...?

It is a web site that people post pictures and a little story of every major confluence (mostly land) in the world. THey also have to post the GPS tracking device showing the coordinates.

Also I've used a popsicle stick - kids place it horizontally and they write "Latitude" (from left to right) on it. Flip it over and turn it vertically and write "Longitude" from top to bottom.