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Learn the international orienteering map symbols with this game

This is an excerpt from Discovering Orienteering by US Orienteering Federation.



Discovering Orienteering
is an excellent resource for physical educators, recreation and youth leaders, and orienteering coaches!

Map Symbol Relay

Objective

To learn the international orienteering map symbols through a relay game

Skills, Techniques, and Processes

Quick recognition of map symbols

Skill Level

Beginner, advanced

Activity Level

Walking or running

Venue

Indoor or outdoor

Time Required

5 minutes

On Map

No

Materials

Index cards (5 × 7 in. [13 × 18 cm]) with a map symbol drawn on one side and a written description of another symbol on the other side. Provide one set of 10 cards per five people. Color-coded cards will keep the sets separate.

Setup

Make cards as shown. Mark a starting line for the teams. At a set distance (10, 20, 30 m), place a set of cards on the ground with symbol side facing up. Place next set of cards about 3 meters away to keep them separate (see diagram).

Description

The group is divided into at least two teams of equal size. On “Go,” the first person on each team runs a set distance to a group of cards and chooses one card. He races back to his teammates, where he hands his card to the next person in line. This person flips over the card and reads the description of a symbol that she must find. She races to the group of cards and returns with the correct one. Teams repeat the process until all of the cards have been collected. The team that collects all of its cards first wins.

Variations

  1. Consider making teams of mixed ability levels.
  2. Teams could be arranged by course color, with more advanced colors having a farther distance to run to reach their group of cards.
  3. Use the cards as flash cards for a seated audience.

Never a Dull Moment

Objective

To increase the ability to quickly read and remember map detail

Skills, Techniques, and Processes

Map memory

Skill Level

Beginner, advanced

Activity Level

Sitting, walking, or running

Venue

Indoor or outdoor

Time Required

15-30 minutes

On Map

Yes

Materials

Map

Setup

Place maps in locations at home, work, school, car, and so on where they are accessible when a free moment arises. For instance, place maps in the kitchen, next to the commode, near the telephone, or in your car, purse, briefcase, or schoolbag.

Description

Place a thumb on the map and glance at the area above the thumb for 1 to 3 seconds. Then, quiz yourself to recall what you have seen (e.g., black features such as trails, cliffs, boulders, and buildings; blue features; and so on). Ask yourself what you saw, where it was in relation to other features, what direction it was oriented, slope characteristics, and so on. Then look again and notice additional features. Repeat until you have completely described the area.

Variations

  1. Do while walking, running, waiting in line, and so on.
  2. If no map is available while running, practice recalling license plate numbers.

Comments

Remember, safety first. While driving, do this activity only when the car is stopped.

Map Memory Relay

Objective

To memorize map and course detail during physical activity

Skills, Techniques, and Processes

Map memory, precision map reading

Skill Level

Beginner, advanced

Activity Level

Running

Venue

Indoor or outdoor

Time Required

10-15 minutes

On Map

Yes

Materials

Two maps per team, one red or purple pen per team, one circle template per team

Setup

Mark a course of appropriate difficulty on one map for each team. Place marked maps at one end of the room (or outdoor area) and unmarked maps at the other end along with pens and templates. Map boards may be necessary if outdoors.

Description

The group is divided into teams of equal size. Teams are given one unmarked map, a pen, and a circle template. On “Go,” the first person on each team runs to the marked map and memorizes the start triangle and as many controls as possible. He then returns to the unmarked map and draws the course from memory, including numbering controls and adding lines. The first team to finish with all controls correctly drawn and labeled wins. Award 5 points for each correct control, with 1 point subtracted (up to 5) for each millimeter the circle is off.

Variation

Draw a different course on each map and have teams do each other’s map when they are through.


Read more from Discovering Orienteering by US Orienteering Federation.


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