Prior to beginning the lesson: (1) Photocopy Compass Treausre Hunt; (2) Assemble paper bags filled with prizes such as candy, stickers, and pencils; (3) Label the paper bags “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, and “E”; (4) Hide the bags at the ending point of each treasure hunt according to the directions. (Allow 25-30 minutes for instruction time.)

Group Size: Small groups

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Understand that the Earth acts like a magnet.
  • Recognize that magnetic north and south poles are near to but not the same as Earth’s North and South Poles.
  • Find direction using a compass.
  • Recognize the practicality and usefulness of a compass.

Compass Treasure Hunt (see attachment); five compasses, prizes, paper bags


  1. Begin by telling students: Yesterday, we made compasses. Who can remind us, what is a compass? Give students time to respond.
  2. Tell students: Today, you are going to work in groups to go on a treasure hunt. All you are going to have to guide you on your hunt is a compass.
  3. Ask students: How will the compass help you? Give students time to respond. How does a compass know to point north? Give students time to respond.
  4. Divide students into small groups. Give each group a compass and a copy of Compass Treasure Hunt. Make sure each group has a different hunt to follow.
  5. Before beginning the treasure hunt, give students a chance to practice with the compass. Ask students: Face north. What do you see? Face east. What do you see? Face south. What do you see? Face west. What do you see?
  6. Direct students to work in their groups and use the compass to follow the directions on their treasure hunt.
  7. Teacher should circulate among all of the groups to make sure students understand how to use the compass.
Modifications: For students with special needs, provide one-on-one assistance as necessary.


Direct students to turn to a partner and tell them something they learned today.

Benchmark or Standards:

National Science Education Standards K-4.1 Science as Inquiry – As a result of the activities in Grades K-4, all students should develop:

  • Understanding about scientific inquiry.
National Science Education Standards K-4.7 History of Nature and Science– As a result of activities in Grades K-4, all students should develop understanding of:

  • Science as a human endeavor.
Attached Files:

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