This is a level 3 activity from the Figure It Out series.
A PDF of the student activity is included.
Click on the image to enlarge it. Click again to close. Download PDF (1018 KB)
The game reinforces the use of compass directions to describe movement about a grid. Although a compass is shown on the page, it is worth discussing with students before they start the game where they think north is. A common convention of maps is to make the top of the page north. Online maps seldom include an indication of north–south orientation because their designers assume that people will know that the top of the screen is north.
2 coloured pencils or crayons
a game board (see copymaster) or grid paper
FIO, Creative Technology, Levels 2+-3+, Land Rush!, pages 12 - 13
In this activity, students play a game of strategy using compass directions.
Some students will be familiar with the game Dots and Boxes. In Dots and Boxes, players can place a line anywhere on the grid; it doesn’t need to be connected to any other line. However, in Land Rush!, the path each rover takes must be continuous.
Students may like to add adaptations or rules of their own. For example, if a player makes a mistake when drawing in the compass directions they have chosen, there could be a consequence, such as missing a turn.
The game can be played with more than 2 players.
This game develops the key competency thinking.
If students number each vertical and horizontal line on the game board, they can use co-ordinates to describe the path of the rover.
The NRICH website has a related activity that demonstrates how grids can be used to create problem-solving opportunities. See http://nrich.maths.org/2813
Technology-related student activities
- Using a simple pneumatic apparatus, construct a diorama with a moving part to illustrate a children’s story. See www.csiro.au/helix/sciencemail/activities/pneumaticfrog.html
- Programmable robots. There are some reasonably priced robots available from electronics outlets. These can be programmed to perform basic movements. For those unable to acquire robots, there are web-based programmes available, such as www.sonic.net/~nbs/webturtle/
- Discuss how robotics has helped people. Could there be any harmful effects?
- Sending radio instructions to Mars would involve dealing with a time lag: although Mars is the closest planet to Earth, the lag would be over 5 minutes. What would this mean in terms of instructing a robot?
Exploring the technology-related context
Control systems can be mechanical or electronic. The control that they exert can be manual or automatic. From something as simple as switching on a light to manipulating gears on a bicycle to operating a robotic camera in a satellite, control systems assist people in a great many ways.
Answers to game
A game to develop your understanding of direction and describing paths.