Author Topic: Teaching Methods  (Read 1822 times)


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Teaching Methods
« on: October 25, 2011, 08:57:43 PM »
I once had a job teaching taster activity sessions to complete novices. One such subject was orienteering. The typical age group was 5-8 years. I thought I'd share one of the very basic methods I used for this age group and would be interested to hear how others have found simple ways to share knowledge.

Before venturing into the outdoors, we started with a short classroom session (5 years olds have little more than a 10 minute concentration span).

Step 1 - Armed with a huge sheet of paper and a selection of marker pens, I would draw the outline of the room then invite each of the group to draw an item seen in the room onto the plan. For the slightly older, we would introduce symbols and the legend. Typical items would be a fire extinguisher, chair or table. When everyone had added an item we'd move on to step 2

Step 2 - Place the newly drawn plan on the floor (I had an open barn), correctly orientated. I would then point to an item and ask the group to go stand next to it. This would have a high success rate. Next, rotate the page and repeat. Some would follow others, a couple would be right, most wouldn't. Very quickly the youngsters would understand the importance of orientating the map.

Step 3 - Go outside and watch them get lost  :) I recommend setting clear boundaries at this point.


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Re: Teaching Methods
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 10:24:11 PM »
Using the compass as a protractor to take a bearing from a map was something that was not made clear to me when learning navigation as a youngster. I was always distracted by the compass needle.

Now that I'm in a position of teaching it I've successfully used the tool shown in the link to explain the simple concept that eluded me. i.e it's just an angle measured from North.

It's a baseplate and flat rotatable compass "housing" with orienting lines only and it helps to explain things by removing that pesky needle from the equation.

Not everyone learns or teaches in the same way but I thought this might just add to someone else's training tool kit.

Lyle Brotherton

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Re: Teaching Methods
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 09:35:12 AM »
A Scout Leader recently emailed me about introducing his troop to satnav, this was my reply:

"A game I play with everyone from HMCG to the Boys @ Hereford is find the candy bar and they all engage equally enthusiastically.
Grab any satnav, eTrex are best because they are very simple, yet any will do,and the more the merrier. Buy half a dozen Crunchie Bars and hide them outside at various locations where you are training, marking each one with a waypoint. Then simply give the candidates the unit, set to find and on the compass page with the large arrow and set them off.
A great introduction to the facts that with any satnav:
It only directs you in a straight line to a waypoint - so the ability to read a map is essential.
You can view your distance to the waypoint
You can view your time to it
Then follow with lots of pics from the ESA (European Space Agency) website of space craft, satellites and introduce them to satnav.

It always makes me smile watching grown men running about for a chocolate bar :)"
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato