Pointing North, South, East and West

Age Range: 5 - 11
By: Sarah Mousa

I used this game to teach students the four main directions (east, west, south, north).

Simply divide the class into groups of 4 students. Tell each group that each student must choose one fixed direction (i.e the first student chooses east, other chooses north..etc). Point to one part of the room and say "This is the north".

The groups should then organise themselves so that the 'north' child is also pointing north and the other children are all in the correct positions, pointing to the correct position. The fastest group is the winner!

This game could also be extended to include north-east / south-east / north-west and south-west (with eight children in each group).

Hope you like it. My students loved it so much. They had so much fun!

Here are some suggested variations / extensions from visitors to Teaching Ideas:

  • Jane - I play the 'Direction Game' with my students. They all have to stand facing me which is north. I take them through the 90 degree turns - east, south, west. We then add in NE, SE, SW and NW. Once they've got the idea we get faster and I shout out random directions. If they turn the wrong way or hesitate too long they're out and have to sit down. A great active learning activity.
  • Lori Johnson - A fun extension for this is to label your classroom with north, south, east, west and play "4 Corners". Teacher starts by covering her eyes and counting to 10 or to 100 by tens and students must all go to one of the four places. Teacher calls out one direction and whomever is there, is out. Those students return to their seats and watch as the game is played again. Teacher covers eyes and counts out again, students move quietly to a new direction. When only 4-6 students are left, have them try to split up to separate directions (only 1 or 2 at a place) so they won't all be knocked out at once and to determine a winner. Winner gets to count and call out directions for the next round. This is also a fun game to play to learn the four oceans. Kids love it!
  • Nicole - Here is a suggestion that will keep everyone in the game... give them yellow or red cards when they get it wrong or hesitate. That way they will get more practice because they need it. Then, if you have a certain amount of cards, those children can form a new group who can play the game separately.


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thank you it really helped use this game for my year 4


Seema Sophia Kapoor

Thanks i love it..



I am planning an activity aimed at early years so from age 3-7 I am thinking the above activities seem like they would be suitable for this age group, any other thoughts?


Shemima Begum

really helped my class learn the compass