Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How Do I Get There From Here?

Joan Jackson


Students use a school map to create a charted course and a corresponding written description of the directions for travel from class to class, beginning with an arrival location in the morning and ending with a departure location in the afternoon.


The student reads and predicts from graphic representations (for example, illustrations, diagrams, graphs, maps).

The student uses an effective organizational pattern and substantial support to achieve a sense of completeness or wholeness (for example, considering audience, sequencing events, choosing effective words; using specific details to clarify meaning).

The student proofreads writing to correct convention errors in mechanics, usage, and punctuation, using dictionaries, handbooks, and other resources, including teacher or peers, as appropriate.

The student revises draft to further develop a piece of writing by adding, deleting, and rearranging ideas and details.

The student logically sequences information using alphabetical, chronological, and numerical systems.

The student knows patterns and rules found in the English language (for example, grammar usage, word pronunciation).


--School map with room numbers of all locations (copy for each student)
--'School Map Project' Scoring Sheet (copy for each student)
--Students' copies of their class schedules (if not memorized)
--Transparency of school map
--Overhead projector
--Projector pens
--Poster board (half-sheet for each student)
--Markers/Crayons/Colored Pencils


1. Make copies of your school's map.
2. Make copies of the 'School Map Project' Scoring Sheet.
2. Make a transparency of the school map.
3. Cut poster-board sheets in half.
4. Create a title for display of finished work.
5. Gather the additional items listed in -Materials-.
6. Remind students to have their schedules with them on the day of the lesson.


1. Ask for a volunteer to run an errand for you (someone who knows very little about the school will work best).

2. Hand the student some papers (or anything) and ask him/her to take them to “Ms. Smith’s” room (use the name of a new employee, or any location that will be hard for the student to locate).

3. When the student asks you where the room is located, show a map of the school and point to the room (or conference room, office, etc.).

4. Ask the student if he/she can find the room, or if verbal directions would help in finding the room. Explain to the class that you asked for a volunteer to run an errand only to introduce today's lesson.

5. Emphasize the importance of not only being able to read a map, but to translate a course charted on a map into verbal or written words. Many people are very good at reading maps, but others need the extra help of written or verbal directions to find a location. Some situations require the ability to give/follow verbal/written directions. Some real-world examples would be calling a repair person to your home, going to a job interview, going to a store to pick up merchandise ordered over the phone, etc.

6. Using the overhead and a transparency of a map of the school, chart a course beginning at the bus ramp or car ramp, and continuing on through the day, making sure the classes cover some common areas such as P.E., music, etc. Number each location visited on the map so that the verbal/written directions will correspond to each destination/location.

7. Using a blank transparency or the board, allow the students to help you chart the course in words, starting at the bus ramp (or car ramp), heading for 1st period (#1 in your list of directions), and eventually ending with the departure location. Emphasize the sequencing/numbering of items to correspond to class periods, and the importance of following capitalization/punctuation rules. A partial charted course might look like this:

Begin at the bus ramp.
1. To Ms. Smith’s Science classroom (314)—Go into the doors from the bus ramp and turn left in the main hall. Walk until you reach the second hallway (300 hall) and turn right. Continue until you reach the last room on the left, which is Ms. Smith’s classroom.
2. To Ms. Jackson’s Language Arts classroom (403)—Go back down the 300 hall, then turn left. Continue to the next hallway (400 hall) and turn left. Ms. Jackson’s classroom is the second entrance on the left.
3. To Ms. Hadder’s P.E. Locker Room (702)—Go back down the 400 hall, then turn left. Continue all the way down the main hall until you reach the last hallway. Turn left, then go to the first entrance on the left, which is Ms. Hadder’s P.E. Locker Room.

8. Have the students use their class schedules and a pencil to chart (directly on the copy of the school map) their course of travel throughout the day. Remind them to number each location so that it will correspond to the destination description in words. Put the school map transparency back on the overhead for assistance while they work.

9. Allow them to exchange maps and schedules with a neighboring student so they can check over each other’s work before they continue. Explain that they should be able to clearly see a starting (a.m. arrival) point, a stop for each class, and an ending (p.m. departure) point. Have them give classmates suggestions for corrections/improvements as they return them.

10. Ask students to use a clean sheet of paper to write the directions for moving from one location to another, beginning at their arrival location and continuing on until they reach their departure location. Have them exchange papers with classmates until everyone is confident that all directions have been clearly written with correct sequencing/numbering, and that capitalization/punctuation rules have been followed (At this point you might want to briefly go over the scoring sheet that you will use to assess this project).

11. Have students use their markers/crayons/colored pencils to trace each class period's path in a different color. On their list of directions, have them shade the number of the corresponding direction in the same color (the color of the path to 1st period on the map will match the number of the directions to get to 1st period, etc.).

l. Give each student a half-sheet of poster board to make a neat, creative display for their map and directions. Display finished posters in the hallway or cafeteria with a catchy title such as -Can You Follow Directions?- or -How Do I Get There From Here?-.


Assess each component/aspect of the project:
--Map (paths colored and corresponding to written directions);
--Written directions (clearly stated, and sequenced/numbered correctly);
--Correct capitalization/punctuation;
--Display (creative and neat).

Separate grades may be earned, or all four grades may be combined to earn a multiple-weight grade. The following rubric is contained in an attached file (Microsoft Word) to use in assessing each part of the project. Students might want to score themselves in pencil on the scoring sheet before you assess their work. (Use a highlighter to shade each score or circle the score in pen.) Encourage students to completely fill out the bottom portion of the scoring sheet that involves a reflection on their work.

Outstanding Quality = 100
Very Good Quality = 90
Average Quality = 80
Fair Quality = 70
Low Quality/Little Effort = 60

(100) Map completely corresponds to written directions in coloring/numbering.
(90) Map's correspondence to written directions contains only one error.
(80) Map's correspondence to written directions contains two errors.
(70) Map's correspondence to written directions contains three errors.
(60) Map's correspondence to written directions contains four or more errors.

(100) Written directions leave no 'guesswork' for someone using them to move from one location to another, and they are also sequenced/numbered correctly.
(90) Written directions contain error(s) in only one 'leg' of the charted course.
(80) Written directions contain error(s) in only two 'legs' of the charted course.
(70) Written directions contain error(s) in three 'legs' of the charted course.
(60) Written directions contain error(s) in four or more 'legs' of the charted course.

(100) Standard rules of capitalization/punctuation are followed with very few, if any, errors.
(90) A few errors are made in following rules of capitalization/punctuation.
(80) Several errors are made in following rules of capitalization/punctuation.
(70) Many errors are made in following rules of capitalization/punctuation.
(60) So many errors are made in following rules of capitalization/punctuation that the directions are difficult to read/comprehend.

(100) Display shows ample evidence of thoughtful creativity and obvious care has been taken in making it as neat as possible ('picture perfect' lettering, and no incomplete erasures or smudges).
(90) Display shows considerable creativity and is generally neat (uniform lettering, and very few smudges or incomplete erasures).
(80) Display shows some creativity and is somewhat neat (lettering may be uneven, and some smudges or incomplete erasures are evident).
(70) Display shows little creativity and neatness (lettering is 'sloppy', and many smudges or incomplete erasures are evident).
(60) Display shows no evidence of creativity/neatness.


Students can visit -MapQuest- online to see how driving directions are written. They can type in specific addresses for the origin and destination, and get a map (with zoom in/out) accompanied by driving directions. The address is:

Web Links

Web supplement for How Do I Get There From Here?

Attached Files

An assessment file     File Extension: pdf

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