Clara's Cowpats


This is a level 3 shape activity from the Figure It Out theme series.
A PDF of the student activity is included.

Achievement Objectives
GM3-5: Use a co-ordinate system or the language of direction and distance to specify locations and describe paths.
Student Activity

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Specific Learning Outcomes

interpret simple co-ordinate maps

Required Resource Materials
FIO, Level 2-3, Theme: Gala, Clara's Cowpats, page 14

Square Grid paper


In this activity, the students will gain experience in reading and plotting positions on a grid. The activity explores the idea of using letters to explain the position of something. The students need to realise that the order of the letters is important. For example, in A,F , Prema’s guess, the across letter (the distance along the horizontal axis) is written first. Note, though, that the labels refer to the square spaces rather than the intersecting lines of the ordered pair and co-ordinate system.
Explain to the students how we need such a location system when we find places on maps or find a seat at the movies. A possible introduction could be to prepare two sets of alphabet cards labelled A to H and model the grid on the classroom floor. Students could be randomly assigned to a square on the grid or could be placed on a spot and asked to state the label of their square.
Question 2 will be useful for sharing and discussion. The students need to realise that Clara’s second cowpat lands on two squares.
Some extension ideas include:
• Two students play a game similar to Battleships. Each player has a grid and marks on it a trail of cowpats in adjacent squares that starts on one side of the grid and goes to the other. The other player tries to find the trail by calling out labels of squares where cowpats might be. The first player to complete a trail as marked on their partner’s grid wins.

cowpat trail.
• Two players each have a grid on which they place six items typically sold at a school gala, for example, fudge, a pot plant, a drink, clothing, comics, and books. The players take turns trying to collect all six items into their basket by calling the correct labels for squares. Their partner is required to indicate a near miss if a player’s call is only one square away.
• Two players have a 6 x 6 grid between them. They throw two dice marked A to F or spin a spinner. One throw or spin gives the horizontal reference, and the second gives the vertical reference. The player puts a counter in the square. The first player to have three of their counters in consecutive squares (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal) is the winner.
Treasure Trove on pages 6–7 of Under the Sea, Figure It Out, Levels 2–3, also deals with grids and co-ordinates. Note, though, that this activity uses co-ordinates that refer to intersecting lines rather than the square spaces.

Answers to Activity


answers grid.
b. F,E
c. Eva
d. Theo, Jack, and Sam

2. grid.


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