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Pro Natura di Alessandria, associazione ambientalista operante sul territorio da circa vent’anni è

lieta di proporre una serie di percorsi di “orientamento sul territorio” basati sui principi dell
ORIENTEERING e del GEOTURISMO. Interessata alla proposta sarà un bene di riconosciuta
importanza quale è la CITTADELLA di Alessandria.

Già quattro sono i percorsi provati, sulla base delle schede (in originale inglese) riprodotte più
sotto e riportanti direzioni e passi o attività da svolgere. Vi sono possibilità di osservazione di
particolarità architettoniche, di specialità e rilevanze botaniche e di altri “punti caldi” di volta in
volta individuati.

Qui di seguito alcune informazioni più in dettaglio.

Prof. CAVALCHINI Pier Luigi . C/O PRO NATURA. V.le MEDAGLIE d’ORO n 34 –
ALESSANDRIA

,,,
ORIENTEERING e GEOTURISMO

Il Georienteering è l'unione di due attività legate alla scoperta del nostro territorio:
- Geoturismo
- Orienteering
Il Geoturismo può essere definito il turismo a tema geologico. In ogni luogo si trovano forme
meravigliose del paesaggio e fenomeni stupefacenti.

Cascate, deserti, vulcani, grotte oltre ad essere affascinanti, hanno una storia da raccontarci: la
storia della terra. La spiegazione di come la terra sia fatta ci viene dalla geologia. Questa scienza
è conosciuta per le attività che svolge nel campo dell’ingegneria civile, in pratica tutte quelle
attività in cui è necessario conoscere il sottosuolo: lo scavo di gallerie, lo sfruttamento di risorse
minerarie, la costruzione di edifici. In realtà, uno degli scopi principali della geologia è tentare di
ricostruire gli eventi accaduti al nostro pianeta da quando si è formato ad oggi. Comprendere
come abbiano avuto origine meravigliosi paesaggi può diventare argomento d’interesse anche
per coloro che non si occupano di ricerca: la "comprensione della terra" può essere un valido
motivo per intraprendere un affascinante viaggio o anche una escursione giornaliera.
Da qui nasce l’idea (non nuova) del geoturismo inteso come "la scoperta e la comprensione delle
bellezze geologiche visitate direttamente dove esse si trovano". Possiamo riassumere il
significato del geoturismo prendendo una frase di Marcel Proust, famoso scrittore francese: "Il
vero viaggio di scoperta non consiste nel trovare nuove terre, ma nell’avere nuovi occhi".

L'Orienteering è letteralmente l'attività dell'orientamento - non è una caccia al tesoro nè


sopravvivenza. E' l'andar per boschi (e non solo) con carta e bussola per il piacere che questa
attività comporta.
Consiste nel raggiungere, secondo una successione prestabilita, un determinato numero di posti
di controllo, con l'ausilio degli strumenti di navigazione, scegliendo liberamente il tragitto da
percorrere. Carta topografica e bussola sono strumenti che rivelano i loro segreti solo a chi li
vuole conoscere intimamente, altrimenti appaiono misteriosi. Si pensi alla simbologia o alle
curve di livello (isoipse) delle cartine, oppure al seguire una direzione rettilinea con la bussola
per giungere ad un obbiettivo (marcia all'azimut).Molti ne conoscono l'esistenza, ma è l'orientista
colui che veramente li utilizza con padronanza ed efficacia.
Il nostro obiettivo
La nostra attività si propone, quindi, di far apprendere le tecniche orientistiche (a scopo non
competitivo, non si effettueranno gare di orientamento), dalle più elementari alle più complesse
attraverso una progressione didattica studiata passo per passo dall' istruttore con
esemplificazioni di esercizi-gioco, ed in seguito effettuare un'escursione di orientamento
e soffermarsi al riconsocimento delle forme del territorio plasmate dalla natura in milioni di anni.
Essa si svolge in diverse aree del territorio regionale e prevalentemente in sentieri all'interno di
parchi, riserve e oasi (all’occorrenza anche in quei parchi urbani rappresentativi di un ambiente
naturale) dove può essere inserito anche l'elemento naturalistico che evidenzia l'aspetto legato
alla scoperta delle specie vegetali ed alla fauna..
...

Alcuni esempi di attività di ORIENTEERING

Orienteering activity 1: Start to finish

Aim:
To follow instructions given as bearings (cardinal and intercardinal bearings) and distances, and
to plot these accurately on a map (drawing).

What you need:


Paper
Ruler (Trundle wheel or tape measure for outside)
Pencil
Protractor or compass (compass for outside)

Notes to the teacher:


This is initially a classroom exercise for students to think about direction, distance and the need
for accuracy when working with map and compass. Success in this activity will be a completed
drawing which is a closed shape. If you choose to extend the activity and do this outside, success
will be completion of the course at the starting point.
If the student's are doing this activity outside they will need to convert their quadrant bearings to
azimuths (i.e. 0° to 360°) for use with their orienteering compass.
The instructions are given in the table below. They can be written on the board, OHT, or in
student's notebooks. An appropriate start position should be selected. The scale used will be 1cm
= 5m.

Distanc Directio
e n
1 Start

2 25m N

3 19m E

4 18m SE

5 18m NE

6 19m E

7 25m S

8 30m SW

9 20m W

10 30m NW

The shape of the course when drawn is shown in the diagram below.
Orienteering activity 2: In line

Aim:

To practice using a compass and measuring distances with a tape or trundle wheel. To follow
instructions accurately given a bearing and a distance.

What you need:

 Measuring tapes or trundle wheels


 Chalk
 Instruction cards for students
 Compasses

Notes for teachers:

For this activity a line is drawn on the ground twenty metres long and running exactly east-west
as shown below. Each 2m is marked and labeled from A through to K. More lines may be drawn
if you wish to work in smaller groups.

The drawing of the base line is a good activity in measurement and direction finding.

Choose an area which has plenty of open space for students to move around on either side of the
line.

Student instruction cards is a master of 12 instruction cards for students. It can be downloaded,
printed and photocopied for use by students.

The answers are given in the table below. As students complete a card, or when they have
completed all the cards, they can check if the point(s) they arrived at was(were) correct.
Students record the closest point when they arrive back at the line each time.

Answers

1. K 7. F
2. H 8. D
3. K 9. G
4. K 10. D
5. C 11. B
6. J 12. G
Student orienteering instruction cards

1 2 3
Start at A Start at C Start at F
Go 15m at 055 Go 15m at 015 Go 10m at 235
Then 10m at 145 Then 16m at 155 Then 19m at 075
End at ___? End at ___? End at ___?

4 5 6
Start at E Start at G Start at B
Go 10m at 020 Go 12m at 025 Go 12m at 120
Then 12.5m at 135 Then 17m at 230 Then 8m at 040
End ___? End at ___? End at ___?

7 8 9
Start at K Start at I Start at D
Go 14m at 315 Go 16m at 210 Go 17m at 050
Then 10m at 180 Then 14m at 350 Then 12m at 215
End at ___? End at ___? End at ___?

10 11 12
Start at F Start at H Start at A
Go 13m at 315 Go 16m at 335 Go 12m at 135
Then 10m at 150 Then 15m at 200 Then 9m at 020
End at ___? End at ___? End at ___?
Orienteering activity 3: Forwards and backwards

Aim:

To practice using an orienteering compass to find the bearings of a number of fixed objects. To
discover the relationship between bearings and back-bearings.

What you need:

 Orienteering compasses
 An open area such as the school oval
 1 station marker (witches hat or similar) per group
 Notebook and pen

Instructions for students:

Work in groups of 2 - 4 students. Place a marker (witches hat) on the ground for your group to
work from.

Select 3 objects positioned at some distance from your station marker and in different directions.
These objects should be easily identifiable. Large trees, goal posts, the corner of a building and
light poles are good examples. Rubbish bins are not as they can easily be moved. Write down
what the selected objects are.

From your station marker take the bearing (forward) to each of the objects you selected and
write the bearing in your notebook.

Now walk to the first of your selected objects and take a bearing back to your marker. Write it in
your notebook beside the forward bearing.

Move on to your next object and take a bearing back to your starting marker. Record it beside
your earlier forward bearing.

Repeat for the third selected object. Can you see a relationship between forward bearings and
back bearings? What is the relationship?

Test out your hypothesis between the objects you have just used. Does it hold true?

Generalise the result. Write it down as a 'rule' to learn.

Notes for teachers:

This exercise will quickly indicate to you the students who are having trouble using the compass
correctly. It is a good chance to get everyone using their compass effectively, in the correct
manner and with accuracy. If they are accurate the relationship between bearings and back-
bearings should be easily recognised after one or two measurements.
Orienteering activity 4: A course, of course!

Aim:

To experience setting a short orienteering course and to follow a course set by other students.

What you need:

 Open area in the school ground or oval with some obvious features for control points
 Orienteering compasses
 Trundle wheels (if paces are to be used then each student should calculate the number of
paces per 100 metres)
 Paper and pen

Instructions for teachers:

Organise the students into groups of three to four.

In this activity students should set a short course of three to four stations (control points),
noting the bearing and distance between each point. Students select a starting point, which
should be an obvious feature such as large tree beside C-block or NE corner of sports shed (not a
rubbish bin because that's movable).

From the starting point they give the direction (a bearing) and distance in metres to their first
control point, with a note to say what the station is. Students move to their first station and
repeat the process until they have data for three or four stations. The bearings and distances are
noted as they proceed, and kept for later work in class.

If distances are to be approximated by pacing rather than measured by tape or trundle wheel,
students will need to work out how many paces they need for 100m. This can be done by laying
out a 100m tape and pacing beside it. In orienteering, participants usually count every second
pace for their 100m. So if they counted 60 double paces, they will have actually stepped 120
paces for the distance of 100m. This can be adjusted if you only have a 30m tape. You may
decide to calculate the number of paces (or double paces) per 20m.

When completed students should swap courses, and follow the directions of another group.

An in-class follow-up of this activity would be for students to produce a map of their course to
an appropriate scale using accepted notation for an orienteering course. Below is a summary of
acceptable basic symbols necessary for this activity.

Name Symbol
Start
Station O
Finish
Route (between Control points) __________


Introduction: What is Orienteering
Orienteering is an activity in which the participants locate control points by using a map and compass to
navigate through a chosen environment: school yard, the woods, the city, etc.

“Orienteering is an activity that helps in the personal development of the student in such areas as problem-
solving, decision-making, self-reliance, awareness of one’s surroundings, spatial relationships, use of
resources, courage to go beyond the well-known paths, and enhanced self-esteem.”

Karl Kolva, “O” in Schools Committee (Orienteering and Map Games for Teachers by Mary E. Garrett)

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Activity 1: String Course


Grade: Pre-school–3
Time: 45 minutes
Materials: string (surveyor’s tape, twine, colored string, or ribbon), spool for rolling the string in and out,
teacher-made maps, control markers (5–8 orange and white markers), stickers placed at each control (STE
Orienteering Kit)

Young children become comfortable with orienteering through a special course called a String Course. The
entire route is marked by string, ribbon, or tape, so the children can stay on course and no one gets lost. A
simple map illustrates the route and the location of the checkpoints calledcontrols. (Controls are the
mapped features such as boulders, trees, buildings, junctions in trails, fences, paths, etc.) When the
children reach a control, they can mark their individual map with a sticker or stamp that is specific to that
control. Eventually, the string leads back to the finish, usually the same place as the start. As children
become better at finding their way in nature, their self-confidence grows, and their abilities expand.

1. Lay out the course and make the map. Find a suitable place for the route. Avoid road crossings,
poisonous plants, thorns, high grass, and other potential hazards. Since the String Course is only a few
hundred meters long, design the route with most of it within sight of the start and finish. As the route is
designed, identify the location of the controls (boulders, trees, buildings, path junctions, fences, etc.) On
the map include route, control locations, a legend, and places to punch or affix a sticker for each control.
Make copies of the map, one for each student. (See sample map below.)
2. On the day of the String Course event, lay out the string and the controls. Tie the string to
something so that it doesn’t blow away, such as laying it on the ground with rocks or wrapping it around
trees.
3. Hang the control markers low. Place the stickers in a bag for protection.
4. Spend some time explaining the map, course, and rules to the students.
5. Now let the students start. (The whole class could complete the first String Course, walking the
course and explaining as the class goes along. Then later have the individual students follow the course.)

Variation: Leave the locations of the controls off the map. The students must then mark where they are
on the map as they reach each control.

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Activity 2: How to Read and Use a Compass


Grades: 2–8
Time: 45 minutes
Materials: compasses (STE Orienteering Kit), Compass Identification Worksheet

1. Review with students the directions: north, south, east and west. Draw this circle on the chalkboard
with the four directions.

2. Ask: in what direction does the sun rise; in what direction does the sun set; in what direction is
Mexico; in what direction is Canada; in what direction is Disneyland; in what direction is Disney World; in
what direction is Washington D.C.; in what direction is the North Pole; etc.
3. Distribute the compasses to the students.
4. Identify the five parts of the compass: orienting arrow, compass needle, direction of travel-arrow,
orienting lines, compass housing (turnable).
5. Have students complete the Compass Identification Worksheet. This may be done several times
giving the students opportunities to learn the different parts of the compass. (Optional: Have students
design a large compass to put on the bulletin board.)
6. Discuss the compass needle. It has two colored parts, one is always red. The red part of the needle
is always pointing towards the earth’s magnetic north pole. Earth has a magnetic north that is miles away
from the geographic North Pole—the north pointed at by gridlines on a map. The magnetic north causes
the needle to always point toward the magnetic pull.

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Activity 3: How to Make a Simple Floating Compass


Grades: K–8
Time: 15 minutes plus overnight
Materials: needles, cork, tape, refrigerator magnets, small containers (STE Orienteering Kit)

1. Tape one end of the needle to the magnet and leave overnight.
2. Test the magnetized needle by trying to pick up another needle.
3. Pierce the magnetized needle through a small piece of cork so that the cork is balanced roughly in
the middle of the needle.
4. Float the cork in a container of water.
5. Move the container around the room or take it outside. The needle should continue to float in the
same direction. What direction is that? (magnetic north)

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Activity 4: How to Use the Compass to Travel


Grades: 2–8
Time: 45 minutes
Materials: compass for each student or each 2-person team (STE Orienteering Kit)

1. Practice with the students traveling in the north direction by finding where north is on the compass
housing. Turn the compass housing so that north on the housing lines up with the large direction-of-
travel arrow.
2. Have the students hold the compass flat in their hands letting the red part of the compass needle
turn to north.
3. Have the students turn themselves, their hands and entire compass until the compass needle is
aligned with north.
4. Walk off in the north direction. Have the students notice what is in the north direction: a building, a
tree, a path, the playground, etc.
5. Now have the students practice other directions: south, east, west, northwest, northeast,
southwest, southeast, while noticing what is in the environment in those directions.

Special Note to Remember: To avoid going in the wrong direction, remember the sun. At noon, the sun is
roughly in the south in the northern hemisphere, so if the student is heading north, the sun should be
behind the student.

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Activity 5: Find a Hidden Treasure


Grades: 2–8
Time: 45 minutes
Materials: list of directions, compass for each student or each 2-person team (STE Orienteering Kit),
treasures

1. Design a treasure hunt by writing out a list of directions:


Example:
1. Start at the door of the classroom.
2. Go approximately 20 feet west along the sidewalk
3. Stop and turn north. Continue north for another 50 feet.
4. Stop and head east for 10 feet.
5. Go southeast for 15 feet.
6. top and look to the east. Find a tall pine tree with a broken branch on its north side. Your
treasure is hidden at the base of the pine tree.
2. Give each student a copy of the list of directions and have them find the treasure by following the
directions.
3. After the students find the first treasure, discuss with the students about finding the second
treasure.
4. Draw a map with an “X” where the treasure is buried. The map has several pathways on it. The
students are asked which pathway would be best to take and in which direction the path seems to
head. Compasses are used to point in the direction that they wish to go. Once the students have the
direction, they should aim at some object or point in the distance and go there so they are not staring
down on the compass.
5. As the students hike, they are asked several times to stop and use their compasses to find which
way they are headed and to point to where they are on their maps.
6. Students arrive at the second treasure. A third treasure map is now handed out to the students. The
teacher decides how many treasure hunts the students will complete for the day.

Special Note: This course with different maps and variations should be completed several times, so the
students become very comfortable with the compass safely and accurately. A variation could be a different
location: park, downtown, neighborhood, hike in the forest, etc.; a course with no paths; This does take
time on the teacher’s part to create maps that are specific to an area, but well worth the outcome:
increasing student confidence and decreasing the feeling of being lost.

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Activity 6: Map Reading with Preschoolers


Grade: Pre-school
Time: 30 minutes

1. Young children can be prepared to read a map by becoming familiar with the directional
words:above and below, to the right and to the left, farther and nearer, here and there. These words and
phrases help children with the concept of location.
2. Observe the movement of the sun at the beginning of the school day and at the end of the school
day.
3. Observe what is in the sky during the day (planes, balloons, birds, etc.)
4. Ask what do they think will be in the sky tonight. Send a note home to the parents encouraging the
observation of the stars, moon, sunrise, and sunset. Ask what will be in the sky tomorrow.
5. Make a list or drawings of what is seen during the day and what is seen at night.
Special Note: Do not look directly at the Sun! The Sun is very bright and by focusing the light onto the
back of the eye (the retina) with or without a telescope, a lot of energy (both optical light and infra-red)
is placed onto a tiny area. The retina of the eye does not have pain receptors, so students will not even
feel the damage being done. It may not even become apparent until later.

Vocabulary to Review with students:


above, below, right, left, farther, nearer, here, there

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Activity 7: Map Reading with Grades K–3


Grades: K–3

Activity A
Time: 15 minutes during the day, 15 minutes during the night, 15 minutes in class.
Materials: Observation Journal Page, What I Saw Worksheet

1. Have students observe and record what they see in the sky in the daytime on their Observation
Journal Page.
Special Note: Do not look directly at the sun! The sun is very bright and by focusing the light onto the
back of your eye (the retina) with or without a telescope, you are putting a lot of energy (both optical
light and infra-red) onto a tiny area. The retina of your eye does not have pain receptors, so you will not
even feel the damage being done. It may not even become apparent until later.
2. Have students observe and record what they see in the nighttime sky on the Observation Journal
Page.
3. Have students observe and record for several days.
4. Now record all they saw on the Observation Journal Page.
5. Discuss with students changes, unique objects, directions, etc.
6. Have students fill out What I Saw Worksheet, combining objects that they saw both day and
night.

Activity B
Time: 15 minutes
Materials: compasses, Compass Identification Worksheets

1. One of the best ways to introduce the reading of a map is to create a map of the classroom or the
school grounds. Don’t worry about proportion and mperspective.
2. Draw a map of the classroom on the chalkboard.
3. Place windows and doors on the wall lines.
4. Place teacher and student desks, cupboards, bulletin boards, etc.
5. Introduce the compass rose by using Activity 2 in the Orienteering Appendix.
6. Place the directions north, south, east and west on the classroom map by asking where the sun
rises and where the sun sets. The sun always goes east to west. Have students stand so the morning sun
is facing them. This is east. Then the left hand is the north side of the body; the right hand is south side
of the body; and everything behind them is west.
7. Have students draw a map of their bedroom. Label the directions, doors, windows, bed, desk, etc.
8. Let students examine and discuss simple maps from the community: a hiking map, a map of the
mall, a downtown map, etc.

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Activity 8: Map Reading with Grades 4–8


Grades: 4–8 Special Note: If the students have not covered the concepts in the previous sections:
Preschool and K–3, please review.
Time: 45–60 minutes
Materials: graph paper, pencils, colored pencils

1. Draw a map of the school grounds using graph paper. Set the unit to represent a specific distance,
for example: one unit on the grid equals 5 feet or 10 feet.
2. Label directions, buildings, play structures, trees, parking lots, sports fields, etc.
3. Give a title; make a legend; label unit distance, etc.
4. Plan a hike using this map and give one to each student. Take the same hike but start in a different
place.
5. Have students create a scavenger hunt using the school grounds map.

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Activity 9: How to Make a Topo Map


Grades: 3–8
Time: 60 minutes
Materials: A lump of clay or Play-Doh® about the size of a coffee mug, piece of cardboard or large tile on
which to work the clay, piece of dental floss, about 2 feet (around 60 centimeters) long, ruler, piece of plain,
white paper, long pencil, 2 toothpicks

1. View instructions on how to make a topo map here spaceplace.nasa.gov/topomap-clay(NASA


website)
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Activity 10: How To Read a Topographical Map


Grades:4–8
Time: 45 minutes
Materials: How to Read a Topographic Map Student Worksheet, topographic map of the Sacramento
area (click here to download free topo maps from USGS).

1. Review with students the following points:


 A topographic map is a representation of a three-dimensional surface on a flat
piece of paper.
 Tell students the word is derived from two Greek words—“topo,” meaning “place,”
and graphos,” meaning “drawn or written.” Ask students if they can use that information to figure
out what “topographic” might mean. Then ask the students to look up the word in the dictionary to
see whether the guess was correct.
 Contour lines, sometimes called “level lines,” join points of equal elevation. The
closer together the contour lines appear on a topographic map, the steeper the slope.
2. Hand out How to Read a Topographic Map Student Worksheet. The Illustration 1 introduces
students to contour lines. Point out that a contour line joins points of equal elevation. Think of it as an
imaginary line on the ground that takes any path necessary to maintain constant elevation.
3. First, have the student look at the side view of the hills, Illustration 2 and answer the first two
questions. (#1. Answer: hill B) (#2. Answer: hill B)
4. Now have the students look at the topographic map of the same two hills (Illustration 3). Explain
that the lines on this map are called contour lines or “level lines.” Ask the students to trace with their
fingers around the 40-foot contour line on the map. Then ask them to look at the picture of the hill and
draw their fingers along the 40-foot contour line.
5. Repeat step 4, having the students drawing with their fingers along and around the 20-foot contour
lines.
6. Ask students to answer question #3. (Answer: 10 feet)
7. Ask students to answer questions #4, #5, #6. Help students understand that the closer the lines,
the steeper the slope. Have students point out other places on the map that have a very steep
slope. (#4. Answer: about 42 feet) (#5. Answer: about 54 feet) (#6. Answer: hill B)
8. Have students identify and circle the following features on illustration 2: a church, a bridge over the
river, an oceanside cliff, a stream that flows into the main river, a hill that rises steeply on one side and
more smoothly on the other.
9. Have the students identify and circle the same features on Illustration 3:
 Draw the map symbol for a church.

 Draw the map symbol for a bridge.

 Put an X on the oceanside cliff.


 What is the elevation of the contour line at the top of the cliff? (Answer: 100 feet)
 Locate a stream that flows into the main river. Draw a pencil line down that
stream. Put an X where the stream joins the main river. On a real topographic map, streams are
shown in blue and contour lines are shown in brown.
 Find the hill that rises steeply on one side and more smoothly on the other. On the
topographic map, draw a path up the gentler slope of the hill to the highest point. (Hint: remember
that when contour lines are close together, the ground is very steep.) Draw a path showing a very
steep way up the hill.
10. Have the students tell how they might use a topographic map:
 A route for a hike. (Choose route that's not too steep. When planning a long hike,
you may want to see whether water is available or whether it should be carried in. Woods tint may
indicate whether the route is shaded.)
 The best location for an airport. (Make sure airplanes have plenty of room to take
off and land before the ground rises. Do not let students suggest building in a swamp, in the woods,
or in a built-up area.)
 A route for a new road. (Find a shallow grade rather than a steep one. Do not allow
them to cross too many rivers because bridges are expensive.)
11. Use a topographic map of Sacramento area to answer these questions:
 What is the approximate elevation of the State Capitol?
 Would you be walking up hill or down hill to go from the state capitol to the
Sacramento River?
 Suppose you lived by the city library. Find a least three ways you could get from
your house to the State Capitol.
 List things you would see along the way.

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Key Words
Map, Route, Controls, Control Marker, Direction, Magnetic North,
Compass, Declination

Downloads [PDF]
Worksheets:

 Compass Identification Worksheet


 Observation Journal Page
 What I Saw Worksheet
 How to Read a Topographic Map Student Worksheet
 View all Circles and Cycles PDFs

Resources
Symbols of Orienteering Maps

 Download a PDF orienteering symbols from backwoodsok.org at:


backwoodsok.org/images/iofcontroldesc.pdf

STE Orienteering Kit

 Compasses (16)
 Surveyors Tape
 Landscapers flags (10)
 Stickers
 Needles (30)
 Corks (30)
 Refrigerator Magnets (30)
 Containers (30)
 Book: Orienteering and Map Games for Teachers by Mary E. Garrett

Books

 Bagness, Martin. Outward Bound Orienteering Handbook. Lyon's Press, 1995.


 Boga, Steven. Orienteering: The Sport of Navigating With Map and Compass. Stackpole Books,
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