Use a Grid Reference System and Directional Language to Describe Locations (5)

Use a grid reference system to describe locations. Describe routes using landmarks and directional language (ACMMG113)

LO: To use a grid reference system to describe locations.


  • what is a scale

  • what is a legend

  • the 4 basic directions (North, East, South, West)

  • the labelling of x and y-axes.


  • that a grid reference system is used to quickly describe locations on a map.


  • I can use a grid reference system to describe and locate familiar landmarks and routes on a map.

Using Grid Maps

Maps usually always have a grid system for easy reading.

For example, we know that there is a volcano in grid A3 and also a palm tree in grid F3.

We usually always say letter first, then the number.

In the Junk Food Island map, B1 is the location of the Twizzles and E5 is the location of Pizza Hut.

Using Directional Language

Maps also have a compass rose to point out directions on a map.

The four main directions (cardinal directions) are North, East, South and West in a clockwise direction. A good way to help you remember it is Never, Eat, Soggy, Weetbix.

There are also another four directions (intercardinal directions) on a compass rose. They are North-East, North-West, South-East and South-West. Those directions pretty much follow their names. North-East means that you are travelling between north and east.

Using the map above, we can use directional language to describe points on a map.

For example, we can say that Ballarat is northwest of Melbourne.

Bairnsdale is northeast of Traralgon.

Warnambool is southwest of Geelong.

Melbourne is southeast of Mildura.

Teaching Ideas


Student Work

ACARA Work Samples

Mapping Videos