Compass Rose Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 Map Directions
  • 0:25 Compass Rose and…
  • 1:15 Practice with the Compass Rose
  • 1:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Michelle Zimmerman

Michelle has taught 4th and 5th grade and has a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

A compass is a handheld tool that helps you figure out in what direction you are going. A compass rose is a feature on a map that also tells people what direction to go to find certain places on the map. Learn all about them in this lesson.

Map Directions

Have you ever looked at a map and said that one place was above another, like Oregon is above California? But, if you were in California and looked up, above your head, you would not see Oregon. We should say that Oregon is north of California, not above. How can we tell what direction it is? We can use the compass rose on a map.

Compass Rose and Cardinal Directions

A compass rose, a drawing showing different directions on a map, is usually found somewhere on the edge of a map. It shows the four cardinal directions, which are north, south, east, and west. On most paper maps, north points up and south points down, east points right and west points left. Some people use the phrase Never Eat Soggy Waffles to remember the order of the first initial of the words north, east, south, west if you went clockwise around the compass rose.

What if the direction you want to describe goes in between two cardinal directions? You can combine the two words and say the direction is northwest or northeast, southwest or southeast.

Practice with the Compass Rose

Look at the map of the country of Syria.

Map of Syria

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