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2-4 Using a Compass

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In lesson 2-3 you learned about magnets and magnetism.  One very useful way magnets help us is by telling us directions.  When a magnet is used in this way, we call it a compass.  A compass gives us the directions of north, south, east or west.

Many people use compasses.  Hikers and hunters use them in forests.  Sailors and fishers use them too. 

A compass needle always points the same direction - north.  If you hold a compass in your hand and it points to the north, how do you know what direction south is?  South would be behind you!  Where would west be?  It would be to your left, and east would be to your right.  It's just like a map.  When you look at a map the top of the map is north, the bottom is south, the east is to your right, and west is to your left.

N

W

E

S

Directions: Answer the questions below about a compass and how to use it.

A compass needle always points north
south
east
west
If you are facing north what direction is behind you? north
south
east
west
If you are facing north what direction is to your left? north
south
east
west
If you are facing north what direction is to your right? north
south
east
west
If you are facing south what direction is behind you? north
south
east
west

 

 

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How to use a Compass