Cardinal Directions For Kids: Basic Map Skills To Spot The Direction | Kidadl


Cardinal Directions For Kids: Basic Map Skills To Spot The Direction

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Do you often get lost because of your poor direction skills even with maps?

In this article, we will learn about cardinal directions and about basic map skills that everyone can possess and how to sight a star using cardinal directions. We will also learn about the importance of cardinal directions and when to capitalize them while writing.

The four cardinal directions that have been accepted globally are north, south, east, and west. Whether you are a student of geography or history, understanding cardinal directions is imperative. This knowledge will not only help you navigate for directions using a magnetic compass or better understand a map. Otherwise, you might struggle to differentiate between north and south from east and west.

When it comes to students, history, science, and geography are three of the most important subjects. But both these subjects involve the study and analysis of different types of maps. There is no way that you can be able to navigate or analyze a map without the knowledge of the cardinal directions north, south, east, and west. Even if you desire to use a compass for navigation, without the understanding of cardinal directions, you will find the task extremely arduous.

How can the knowledge of cardinal directions help you? Well, it can help if you wish to know about the expanse of a historical empire, understand different ecosystems across the Earth and even identify different constellations, stars, or planets in the sky. By mastering the knowledge of cardinal directions, not only can students perform better in their studies but also appreciate different aspects of the studies even further.

Continue reading if you are curious about the four cardinal directions of north, south, east, and west. This will certainly help you develop a better understanding of the science of navigation. After reading these facts about using and understanding cardinal directions, also check fun facts about natural gas and Glacier National Park facts.

Cardinal Direction Meaning And Uses

A path along which an object is in motion can be defined as a direction. It is also the location of an object on the basis of the location of another object. The four points on a compass rose are the four cardinal directions.

The cardinal directions north, south, east, and west are the main four cardinal directions. These cardinal directions can also be referred to by their first letters: N, S, E, and W.

In other words, these four cardinal directions can be called cardinal points. The word ‘due’ can be used to refer to a cardinal direction. For example, due south can also be used to refer to the cardinal direction of the South. The ordinal directions are found at equal points between every cardinal point. Ordinal directions are as follows: northeast (NE), southeast (SE), southwest (SW), and northwest (NW).  Ordinal directions can also be referred to as intercardinal directions. The ordinal directions can be found halfway in the middle of every cardinal direction.

For example, SE (southeast) is in the middle of South and East. A compass rose is a figure that is found on a compass, map or nautical chart to display the cardinal directions. A compass rose that has both ordinal and cardinal directions will contain eight points: N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, and NW. Secondary Intermediate directions are the points found in the middle of every cardinal and ordinal direction. Secondary intermediate directions as follows: NNW, NNE, and ENE. There will be 16 points on a compass rose that shows all the cardinal, ordinal, and secondary intermediate directions. They are as follows: N, NNE, NY, ENE, E, ESE, SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW, WSW, W, NWN, NW, and NNW.

When to capitalize cardinal directions?

It is necessary to understand when to, and when not to, capitalize while writing about directions because they cannot be avoided due to their regular use in sentences. However, it can be a bit confusing to differentiate if the cardinal directions need to be capitalized or not.

Largely cardinal directions should be capitalized when they are used as proper nouns. In this case, the directions depict specific regions. For example, if you say your house is on the North Coast then the direction will be capitalized. They are not capitalized when they are used in a general sense to refer to a nonspecific direction or location. For example, if you want to say you are visiting the south of Australia then the director must not be capitalized since we are only referring to a general direction.

However, this is only partially true. Some other rules also guide the capitalization of directions. Understanding capitalization of the derivatives of these words is also important and more complicated than doing it for cardinal directions. The derivative words when ‘ern’ is added are northern, eastern, southern and western. In these cases, the direction is capitalized when talking about a specific individual within a region, when it depicts an organizational unit like the Southern Region of Samsung’s sales team, and when it comes before a place’s name like Eastern Europe.

The directions are non capitalized when describing the climate of a region for example Northern winter. The derivatives which are made by adding the word ‘erner’ like Northerner, Westerner, Easterner, and Southerner are capitalized irrespective of the context of their usage.

How do you explain cardinal directions to a child?

Explaining directions to a child is of extreme importance. Spatial awareness is included in the early education children receive pertaining to geography. The potential to understand the space of objects and your own position in relation to those objects is spatial awareness. The two main elements that constitute spatial awareness are movement and space.

Movement and space are the two components that are essential for navigation. This concept involves awareness of space: is the girl standing being the house or in front of the house? How far is the girl from the boulder? It involves the awareness of movement, like if the girl is walking toward the house or away from the house. It is an extremely crucial skill that should be developed.

The ability to understand cardinal directions is one of the most foundational orientation skills that need to be developed within children. Being aware of where the directions north, east, west, and south lie is very important for navigating and describing the location of objects in relation to your position. Teaching young kids about them can be tricky, but the job becomes much easier if mnemonics are used. Memorizing by using the technique of Mnemonic is increasingly becoming popular.

It is a technique in which memorizing is done through the use of words, ideas, or letters. This technique proves to be very effective while teaching geography. Mnemonics work best when they are made by using silly and simple words that are simple to remember. The mnemonic “Never Eat Soggy Waffles” can be useful to learn about cardinal directions. The first letter of every word represents each cardinal direction.

The directions north and south direct towards the north pole and south pole of the planet Earth. East and west directions are directed by the rotation of the earth around the sun. It is common knowledge that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. A magnetized compass needle, when it moves freely, aligns itself with the magnetic field of the earth, which is the same as North. Historically, various cultures have also allotted different colors to every direction.

North, South, East and West are the four cardinal directions.

Why are cardinal directions important?

Directions are extremely important as they help in determining the position of an object in relation to our position. General directions can be ambiguous but geographical directions are specific.

As the cardinal points are accurately defined, cartographers customarily draw a standard map and place north (N) on top and east (E) on the right. Maps provide a methodical way to understand where places are, and the cardinal points teach us how to find those places. A common misconception is that the north always has to be on the top but it is the case always. Some cartographers prefer south-up maps.

However, most portable GPS-based navigation computers will display the maps as usual with N always on top and E always on the right. Stars can also be spotted by making use of these directions. If we look up towards the sky while standing on the North Pole we can spot a star just above our heads. This star is visible from every country in the Northern Hemisphere. If we point towards it, we are pointing towards the true north. This star has been named Polaris due to its position in the North Pole but is also called North Star and polestar.

Before the compass was invented, this star was the best guide for travelers of both land and sea. The North Star is not a very bright star but it can be easily spotted. For a long time, it has been believed that name groups of stars form the outline of a picture. These groups are known as constellations. The Big Dipper is the best-known constellation. It is a group of seven bright stars. Interestingly, the North star is the only star that never sets and never changes its position. Other stars around the North star sometimes appear to be circling around it.

Throughout world history, understanding the compass has been a very great asset for the user roaming the globe. Understanding the compass can be a bit tough in the beginning, but understanding the compass helps you to find your directions towards any place on the globe just with the help of your newly acquired skills.

There are four main points on the compass for understanding and none of the points are in the same direction. The north and south poles are opposite towards each other and so are the west and east on the compass and in geography. Talking about the south pole, usually, the south pole is used to refer to the bottom of a map. Before the compass poles, and the ability to read the poles in geography with its help, wanderers, and explorers used to roam the geography with the help of the sun's position.

The sun appears in the east in the morning and it helped them to guide their way. Gradually every city and continent understood all about the existence of a compass to help read geography easily, many terms like the equator were derived. The equator is a line notionally drawn on the earth equidistant from the poles, dividing the earth into northern and southern hemispheres. The Equator passes through 13 countries.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for cardinal directions for kids: basic map skills to spot the direction then why not take a look at 21 ancient Greece history facts that historians will absolutely adore, or California earthquakes: why do they happen so frequently and more .

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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