This collection of labs will help you teach a unit on Topographic Maps, Magnets, Latitude and Longitude Bundle from an investigative perspective. 


NOTE: this is a zipped file containing the 7 individual labs.

Labs are the best part of science! When students start with the scientific phenomena, they’re intrigued and excited to dig deeper into the why’s and how’s of each scientific concept. But planning experiments can be an exhausting job. Finding great labs (and great instructions for those labs) can help this process immensely.

Each lab is beautifully illustrated and well laid out—they’re easy to use from the very first page. They’re written directly to students, which means that kids can be in charge of their own learning and you’ll be freed to teach. There are helpful tips throughout the experiments and the Teacher Notes section will leave you in no doubt about how to perform or understand an experiment.


The following resources are included in this bundle:

Astrolabe: Determine Your Latitude Using World's Oldest Scientific Instrument

Calculating Speed: Determine Speed in Knots Using Historical Log and Line Model

Magnets! Investigate Lines of Flux: Visibly See Them Attract or Repel

Magnets! Investigation to Map Lines of Flux: Visibly See Them Attract or Repel

Topographic Maps: Use a Model Landscape to Draw Contour Intervals on Your Map


Use this resource reinforce answers to questions such as:

❑ How did ancient sailors calculate their ship's speed? 

❑ What do we need to measure to determine our speed? 

❑ How fast is a knot of speed?

❑ How can we measure the angle of the sun in the sky?

❑ What does the sun's angle tell us?

❑ Does it matter when we measure the sun's angle?

❑ How can we show invisible magnetic fields?

❑ What is the shape of the magnetic fields around different magnets?

❑ How does the shape of a magnetic field change when a second magnet is brought nearby?

❑ How can we map terrain in three dimensions?

❑ What do contour lines on maps show us?

❑ What do the different shapes on contour maps show us?


Once students work through an activity, they can capture their observations using the included Lab Notes or probing questions included in the instructions. 


Concepts Addressed

♦  Speed is a measure of distance per time

♦  Speed can be measured in knots

♦  Slower ships take more time to cover a given distance

♦  The sun’s angle changes throughout the day.

♦  You can determine your latitude by measuring the sun's angle

♦  The angle of the sun's zenith changes through the seasons

♦  Magnets are surrounded by an invisible field of force

♦  Magnetic lines of flux can be shown using iron filings

♦  Iron filings act like small magnets and will align themselves with magnetic field lines

♦  Contour lines are used to map elevation

♦  Contour lines connect places of equal height or elevation

♦  When contour lines are close together the slope is steeper than when they're farther apart.

♦  Parallel contour lines designate a slope

♦  Concentric contour lines designate a hill or depression


Student Sheets   Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting 

Navigation, Maps, and Finding Your Way Bundle


    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

    Connect with me: If you have questions or problems, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.


    This resource (along with all resources sold on this site) can be found inside the membership. For information on that option, click here.

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