Module 1 • Arctic Exploration: Navigation
Activity 1-2
What challenges might it bring the team in the field to be traveling with such large scale maps?
setting off on the expedition?” Paul’s answer was short and fast: “North!”
If the students were leaving north from your classroom, which direction would that be?
Pass out Student Page 1-2b “Compass.” Students will make a simple compass, either in small
groups or individually, and determine the cardinal directions—north, south, east, and west—in
Brainstorm answers the following questions (also listed on the Student Page). When necessary,
have students move the bowl-compass to different locations (near walls, large metal objects, etc.)
to see what happens in each location. There is room for students to answer the questions on the
Student Page if so desired.
- What causes the chip to move?
- How can you tell which is the north-seeking end of the needle?
- Suppose the needle had been stroked in the opposite direction. Would that affect its pointing
position? Suppose the needle was stroked back and forth. Would that affect its use as a naviga-
tional tool?
Part II
Even though expedition leader Paul Pregont is in charge of navigation and planning the expedition
route, navigation in the field is team work—from plotting the route to leading and finding the way
every day. Before starting each day’s, travel Paul will look at the map for an approximate route, plot
the route if necessary and make a bearing for setting out. Once on the go, the lead team will look at
land features and follow bearings, though it is often the second team that waves the first team on
the bearings.
5. Using Student Page 1-2c “Route Plotting,” the students first work individually to plot a short
course using a compass rose and ruler. See Teacher Notes 1-2b “Plot Tools” for compass roses and
the making of transits.
6. Share with students that they are now going to work in teams just like Team GoNorth! on the
expedition to “travel” the courses they just plotted. Make the tools available and divide students
into five teams: A, C, E, G and I. In each group designate the following team roles:
Student 1 – call out bearing and distance and take care of field position marks
Student 2 – handle the compass and compass rose
Student 3 – handle transit sightings
Student 4 – handle tape rule and measure distance
Student 5 – confirms and checks transit sightings and distance measurements
These roles are also listed on Student Page 1-2c “Route Plotting.” Students establish the course
outdoors using a compass, compass rose, measuring string and a transit. At the end all students
should be gathered at the same X marker, or within a radius of one meter!