Cardinal & Intermediate Directions Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What are the cardinal and intermediate directions? This lesson plan uses a simple video lesson to explain critical facts. A fun activity gives students practice using cardinal and intermediate directions.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • list and explain both the cardinal and the intermediate directions
  • discuss the importance and purpose of cardinal and intermediate directions


1 to 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.


  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated video lesson
  • Five compasses
  • A bag of candy or other simple treats


  • Begin by asking the class if they can name the cardinal directions, allowing them to share their ideas during a class discussion.
  • Now have them do the same with the intermediate directions.
  • Play the video lesson Cardinal & Intermediate Directions: Definition & Meaning, pausing it at 00:26.
    • The video lesson states that the cardinal directions are the main directions of the compass. What are the specific names for these cardinal directions?
    • There are also four intermediate directions as explained in the video lesson. What are these?
  • Play the video lesson again. Pause it this time at 2:15.
    • Why do we need intermediate directions?
  • Play the remainder of the video lesson for the class now.
  • Review key points presented in the video lesson about cardinal and intermediate directions with the class before continuing.
  • Pass out the worksheet to to the class, one per student.
  • Ask the students to work independently to complete the worksheet.
  • When all students have finished the worksheet, review each question and answer with the class, allowing students to ask questions to seek clarification.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account