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Bearings and Angles – Outdoor Learning Day IV
March 8, 2012

Sun Dials are amazing little things which are relatively easy to make and use. This is a nice activity to use when studying angles and bearings to get students applying them in real-life. You can give students a template like the this one which comes as a base and a gnomon, or this one which is in one piece. Or you can get them to construct it themselves using a protractor and measuring the appropriate number of degrees between each line (see one of the templates). Then get them outside, they will a need a compass (ask the geography department maybe, or get them to download a compass app like this one). They should point their sundial to the north and hey presto read off the time! They could record the time and calculate the difference between this and the time on a digital watch so you can discuss the accuracy of their sun dials!

On the topic of bearings, a great activity is to set students a scavenger hunt around the playground using bearings (again you could get them to download an app to their phones). Place clues in specific places so students can follow one clue to the next. You may want to set several routes or set students off at different times. This really gets students thinking (and remembering) about bearings and never again will you see them written as two figures!

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