This Map Directions Overlay Can Help Your Students

If you are in Ohio and you are going to Texas, what direction will you be traveling?

Build map skills with easy to make overlays from transparency film!

Sounds easy enough, right?  Right? Hello?

Map skills never really go away; they just keep building year after year. Students need a solid foundation to build on, or they remain confused.

We've been working on using cardinal and intermediate directions lately during social studies. 

So, here is the question again. If you are in Ohio and you are going to Texas, what direction will you be traveling?

If your students are like mine, they often struggle with questions like this. I've found a simple, easy to implement strategy for building this integral map skill.

I make my struggling students a transparent compass rose. How? Easy! 


Easy to make overlays to build foundational map skills
You can differentiate these transparent compass roses by using only cardinal directions, or by adding intermediate directions. You could just add the arrows without providing the actual directions, as well. 

To make one, you will need transparency film, a permanent marker, a hole punch, and scissors.

I lightly folded my transparency film into four equal parts. (Yes, it's hard to fold the transparency film, and yes, you can use a ruler instead!)


Make an overlay to differentiate for students struggling to understand directions
The hardest part is hole punching the center of the transparency piece. 

The trick is to bend, not fold, the transparency piece enough to hole punch it. You can see my struggle below. You don't want to have actual folds in the transparency.

Use overlays to build map skills!

Once the hole is in the center, you can use a permanent marker and a ruler to draw the lines to label the cardinal directions and possibly the intermediate directions. 

Remember that you can simply draw the lines without providing directions. The student would still have to correctly know how to apply directions in order to answer the question correctly. It all depends on the level of differentiation required.

Easy differentiation for struggling students

If you are in need of a map skills packet to practice more skills, I've got one available at my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. 

Creative Map Skills Project!
Click the picture above or below to visit my shop!

Map Skills - project and worksheets!
What adaptations have you tried? What works and what doesn't? I'd love for you to share some thoughts below in the comments!

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