Where am I?


The purpose of this activity is to engage students in accurately reading and interpreting a map of an unfamiliar location. They should be particularly aware of the significance of using landmarks to locate positions on the ground.

Achievement Objectives
GM2-6: Describe different views and pathways from locations on a map.
Description of Mathematics

In readiness for this problem, the students should be familiar with the common features of maps including compass directions, a grid reference system and simple scale. They should be able to interpret and apply to the map the information in the map key (legend). 

This activity may be carried out with guidance, or by allowing the student to follow their own method of solution. The approach should be chosen in sympathy with students’ skills and depth of understanding.


From where Sam is standing, he can see the bush and track ahead of him in the distance, a tree stump on his right, and in the distance to the west, a small bridge over the stream. 

  1. Where is Sam standing? If he makes a half turn, what will he see?
  2. Pretend you and two of your friends are in different places on this map.
    Write what each of you can see to the north, to the east, to the south and to the west.
    Have a classmate use your clues to work out where the three of you are.

The visual approach (show more)

  • The student is able to use images and/or objects to represent a problem and find a solution.

The conceptual approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to apply their knowledge and skills in an unfamiliar setting and is able to generalise.
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Level Two