January 1, 2018
By Jennifer Sobalvarro

Lesson plan

Transitioning to Intermediate Directions

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  • Students will be able to follow and give directions using intermediate directions and transitional words.
(8 minutes)
  • Separate the students into two groups.
  • Play a game with the students. Draw an intermediate direction from the index cards pile, and have one group move in that direction. Repeat the steps for the next group.
  • Provide two directions at one time, using transitional words. (For example, Group A, move southeast, then move north.)
  • Reference the posted intermediate directions on the classroom walls as support.
  • Say, “Now that we have practiced moving ourselves using intermediate directions, we will use transitional words and intermediate directions with a map.”
(9 minutes)
  • Explain that during the game you used transitional words like Then, First, After, and Later. Write them on the board.
  • Display the practise Intermediate Directions worksheet map with a document reader and review the features on the map.
  • Explain that the Compass roseIs the icon on a map that shows Cardinal directions(N, S, E, W) and Intermediate directions(NW, NE, SW, SE).
  • Model how you would provide directions from the train station to the grocery store, and then the grocery store to the hospital. For example, “Leave the train station with your suitcase and move west to the grocery store. After shopping for a bit, walk southeast to the hospital.”
  • Write down the directions on the board and circle the transition words and intermediate directions.
(10 minutes)
  • Copy these sentences on the board: “School is out and you need to get to the police station. In what direction should you travel?”
  • Select a student to show on the map what direction one should travel to get to the police station from the school (northeast).
  • Allow students to use their fingers to follow the directions on the map.
  • Write the following directions on the board: “A doctor needs to go from work at the hospital to the school to pick up her daughter, and lastly to the train station to get home.”
  • Ask students for directions and write them down on the board. Circle the transition words.
(8 minutes)
  • Distribute the practise Intermediate Directions worksheet, and explain that students need to choose an intermediate direction for each of the questions.
  • Tell the students to write instructions on the back of the practise Intermediate Directions worksheet for what direction one needs to travel to go from the grocery store to the police station, and then to school.


  • Provide some examples that are not multiple choice and that require students to follow multiple directions. (For example, “Using the map, what directions do we move in when we go from the school to the train station, and lastly to the hospital?”)
  • Challenge advanced students with the Intermediate Directions worksheet for more complex direction practise..


  • Allow students to draw a picture next to the icons on the map. (For example, a book for the school, a badge for a police station, and so on.)
  • Suggest that students draw the route before they choose their answers.
  • Limit students to using just cardinal directions (N, S, W, E) and then gradually demonstrate how using the intermediate directions are similar and different from the basic cardinal directions.
  • Demonstrate how a ruler held straight up and down on a paper can show north and south, and horizontally shows west and east. Anything in between has two directional names attached, like northwest, instead of west.
(3 minutes)
  • Evaluate students’ understanding of intermediate directions though their responses to the practise Intermediate Directions worksheet.
  • Assess students’ ability to use transition words through their participation in class and the directions they write on the back of the practise Intermediate Directions worksheet.
(2 minutes)
  • Review the transitional words and explain they are useful not just for directions, but for giving instructions in general.
  • Provide intermediate directions on where the students need to deposit their practise Intermediate Directions worksheets.

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