Globes & Us
Learn about latitude and longitude, grids, degrees, minutes, seconds, time zones, scale, legends, keys, cardinal and intermediate directions, hemispheres, and more. Live action and animation help simplify the concepts.
Find out the one way a globe is different from a map.
- Students will understand that globes are excellent models for the purpose of studying the earth, and that there are different globes for different purposes.
- Students will realize that a globe is a true three-dimensional model of the earth in the shape of a sphere. A globe can show length and height, like flat maps, but it also gives depth.
- Students will understand that globes have symbols that represent features on the earth. By using the legend, one can identify these symbols and make sense of the globe.
- Students will realize that all globes have a scale that shows how the size of the model relates to the size of the earth using a ratio.
- Students will know that all globes have directions, which aid in showing the area in which a point is located. One can usually find the Cardinal Directions and the Intermediate Directions located on a globe. When a globe is sitting in the proper position, North is upward, South is downward, East is to the right, and West is to the left.
- Students will realize that a grid system has been adopted in order to pinpoint an exact location. The grid system is composed of two types of imaginary lines called lines of latitude and lines of longitude.
- Latitude lines run from East to West and are parallel to each other. The equator is the parallel that divides the earth into the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. From the equator, which is at zero degrees latitude, lines of latitude will usually show up every fifteen degrees on a globe. These lines can either be called North or South parallels.
- Lines of longitude, or meridians, start at zero degrees on the Prime Meridian, which divides the globe into Eastern and Western Hemispheres, and run from North to South along the globe. Unlike lines of latitude, lines of longitude are not parallel.
- Both lines of latitude and longitude are divided by degrees. The degree is the basic unit of circular measurement, but it can be broken up into minutes and each minute can be broken up into seconds. There are sixty minutes in a degree and sixty seconds in a minute.
- Students will understand the concepts that globes teach people about how time relates to the earth's rotation around its axis. The world is divided into twenty-four separate time zones, each about fifteen degrees apart and an hour different in time. The use of times zones is necessary because the position of the sun is different at each zone.
- Students will comprehend the concept behind the International Dateline. As the Prime Meridian circles the earth and comes to the other side, it changes to the International Dateline (180 degrees longitude). If it is Tuesday and one crosses the dateline going west, he or she will have crossed into Wednesday
- Students will be able to use a globe to find the three weather regions of the world (Tropics, Temperate, and Arctic/Antarctic regions)
- The Tropics, where the sun can be seen directly overhead, consist of the region between 23 degrees, 27 minutes north latitude (Tropic of Cancer) and 23 degrees, 27 minutes south Latitude (Tropic of Capricorn).
- There are two Polar Regions in the world. One polar region is from the North Pole to the Arctic Circle and the other polar region is from the South Pole to the Antarctic Circle. Both Polar Regions receive little sunlight compared to the other two regions.
- The areas between the Polar and Tropical regions are known as the Temperate Regions, where the climate is generally mild.
- Before viewing the video
- Show the class a globe. Give small groups of students the opportunity to observe it closely. Then ask the students to tell thing that a globe can teach them. List these items on the board for future reference.
- After viewing the video
- Print the following words on cards: globe, map, legend, longitude, latitude, equator, northern hemisphere, southern hemisphere, eastern hemisphere, western hemisphere, Prime Meridian, International Dateline, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle, Antarctic Circle, and temperate region. Hold up cards one at a time and select students to define the terms.
- Divide the class in half for the “Globes and Skills Contest”. Now the fun begins! Select a scorekeeper from each side. Then Select a "globe tender" from each side, preferably two students who are relatively familiar with globes. The teacher holds up cards from the preceding activity, alternating from one group to another. The selected student must locate that term on the globe. If he or she is unable to do this, the other team is given a chance. If no one is able to identify the term, it is placed at the bottom of the stack. A point is awarded for each correct response and the team with the most points wins.
- Longitude and Latitude Skills Contest: This game can only be played after the students have had several lessons in finding latitude and longitude. Again divide the class into two groups. Give one half of the class a set of blue cards equal to half the number in the class. Give the other half of students the same number of green cards. Each group selects places on the globe and writes the name of the place on one side and the latitude and longitude on the other. The same contest rules as the previous activity apply. Select a student from Group 1 to hold up his or her card to a student in Group 2 and visa versa.
- What is a Globe
- Latitude and Longitude
- Earth Rotates
- Different Types of Globes