How to Use a Compass Rose Worksheet

Written by irene a. blake
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How to Use a Compass Rose Worksheet
(Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A compass rose is a directional marker that tells a person reading a map the position of the cardinal directions: north, south, east and west, northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest. The compass is described as a "rose" because of the traditional ornate appearance of the compass --- often looking like a starburst or flower. Typically, parents and teachers use a compass rose worksheet as a tool to teach students map-reading skills.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  • Maps

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  1. 1

    Engage your students in a conversation about maps. Discuss map usage and methods to read maps, including recognition of common key symbols and directional markers such as the compass rose.

  2. 2

    Present your students with a compass rose worksheet that has only one direction such as "North," or its abbreviation "N," filled in above the top point of the compass rose. Or hand out a worksheet without any pre-filled directions.

  3. 3

    Instruct your students to fill in the cardinal directions in the boxes or areas on the worksheet written out as "North," "South," "East," "West," "Northeast," "Northwest," "Southeast" and "Southwest" or abbreviated: "N," "S," "E," "W," "NE," "NW," "SE" and "SW."

  4. 4

    Pull out a blank compass rose worksheet once the activity has ended. Ask your students to help you fill in the blanks from memory.

  5. 5

    Align north on the compass rose worksheet with north on a map and then ask your students to provide you with descriptions of the direction of terrain or locations on a map using the compass rose as a guide. For example, with a map of the United States, you might ask them to answer where California is on the map or what state is north of Texas on the map.

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