Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Pinpointing Particular Places

Laura Brown


The students locate places on the globe using lines of latitude and longitude and give the names of the locations, using latitude and longitude measurements.


The students uses maps, globes, charts, graphs, and other geographic tools including map keys and symbols to gather and interpret data and to draw conclusions about physical patterns.


-Student Learning Logs (Social Studies notebooks)
-One globe or atlas per three students
-A wall size atlas or world map with latitude and longitude lines for whole class instruction


1. Gather atlases or globes.
2. If desired, make the places and coordinates mentioned in the procedures into a handout.


*This should follow the first lesson titled Earth Matters by Laura Brown.

1. Do a whole class review of the location of the equator and prime meridian. Review north and south of the equator and east and west of the prime meridian. Review the fact that lines of latitude run east and west, but measure north and south. Then review lines of longitude which run north and south, but measure east and west.

2. Tell students that we are going to find the latitude and longitude coordinates for Panama City, FL (30 degrees north and 84 degrees west). Students will record it in their Learning Logs. In addition, have students define COORDINATES in their Learning Logs for future reference.

3. Tell the students we will now find the name of the location that sits at the coordinates 33 degrees north and 84 degrees west (Atlanta, GA). Discuss that it must be near Panama City, note the same line of longitude. Discuss that the line of latitude is just farther north. Identify and record Atlanta, GA in their Learning Logs.

4. Repeat step #3 with the coordinates 37N and 23E (Athens, Greece). Discuss the similiarities in the latitude but large difference in the longitude. This will increase familiarity with both lines of latitude and longitude.

5. If at this point you feel they are ready, give students the following places and coordinates. Using the places, they will identify the coordinates, and using the coordinates, they will identify the places. Put the students in groups of three to work and to share a globe or atlas. They will record the answers in their Learning Logs.

Places/Coordinates (Answers)

1.Akron, OH (41N and 81W)
2.Fairbanks, AK (64N and 147W)
3.Mecca, Saudi Arabia (21N and 39E)
4.London, England (51N and 00)
5.Portland, Oregon (45N and 122W)
6.32N and 96W (Dallas, TX)
7.46N and 112W (Butte, MT)
8.41N and 12E (Rome, Italy)
9.19N and 155W (Hilo, HW)
10.41S and 174E (Wellington, New Zealand)


1.Check the students' Learning Logs for correct names of locations and correct coordinates in order to gather evidence of how students use maps and gather and interpret data. (Answers were provided in the Procedure Section).

2.Have students respond to one of the following questions in their Learning Logs in order to assess how they draw conclusions about physical patterns from the data they have gathered and interpreted.
a)What patterns, if any, did you notice as you worked on finding the latitude and longitude coordinates?
b)Why is it important for you to know about latitude and longitude lines?
c)In what careers might individuals use latitude and longitude lines?
d)How would you explain to a younger student how to use latitude and longitude lines?


This lesson should be preceded by another Beacon teacher lesson plan called Earth Matters.
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