Orienteering is an excellent lifetime sport/activity that all students should have the opportunity to try. Competitive orienteering is all individual, but when starting with young children it is a good idea to use partners.
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Competitive orienteering is all individual, but when starting with young children it is a good idea to use partners.
Grades 4-8: great age to begin to introduce the sport/activity. Students at this age learn the concepts very quickly and are able to read the map.
Senior: at this age the students are quite capable of finishing lengthy courses (5-10KM.) in forest terrain. They can also organize their own courses.
Orienteering allows the students to apply their learning/abilities in a real-life situation.
Orienteering allows our students to develop their self-confidence, problem-solving and decision-making skills, spatial awareness, an appreciation of the natural environment, and overall persistence and ability to focus.
I have taught orienteering in my current school to my 5-S4 students with many positive results. An excellent year starter/ender activity as well.School Applications
S.1.7(8).C.1Apply functional use of selected activity-specific skills (e.g., care and carrying of equipment, compass and map reading, star turn, snowplough...) in alternative pursuits(e.g., orienteering, hiking, skiing...).
S.1.S2.B.1 Apply and refine selected activity-specific movement skills and variations(e.g., running for long distance, dynamic balancing, double-poling, lunging, chipping, putting...) in physical activities, including individual/dual type activities(e.g., cross-country skiing, golf, cycling...).
K.3.8.A.5aInvestigate potential safety risks inherent in selected alternative pursuits (e.g., climbing walls, in-line skating, downhill skiing, activities on ice...).
K.3.S2.A.5aDetermine the safety considerations in selected alternative pursuits (e.g., wear protective equipment, use reflective tape for nighttime visibility, have first-aid kit available, watch for extreme weather conditions...).
Orienteering has obvious close connections to math, geography, and science.
Depending on how you design your units/plans you can reach many (10+) outcomes by teaching orienteering.Curricular Outcomes
Shoes: light strong shoes with a non-slip gripping are ideal. Cross-training type.
Map: a detailed topographical map is ideal, but for school use a basic black and white map can be used and will work quite well.
Compasses: there is a wide variety to choose from. Orienteers use either a thumb, or base-plate compass. For school programs, compasses are not needed all the time.
Controlcard: to prove you have been to each point, you will use the punch on the flag
to leave an
Impression.Equipment: What is needed…
Each control has a number or letter code that distinguishes them from one another. This will tell you whether or not you have found the right one!!
They are usually hanging between 2-5 feet off the ground from a tree or on a pole.
flag you will
notice a punch
that you will
use to show
been to the correct location.
Smaller versions for school events can be made very easily using construction paper.Orienteering Controls/Flags
Before you start an introductory course you need to do the following:
Find a suitable area to Orienteer (inside of school, school grounds, local park, wilderness area, W.M.A.’s)
Find/Make an accurate map of the area you would like to use.
Do some field work to ensure the map is to scale, and is accurate.
Set out the controls/markers in the area, and mark them on your master map.
Draw/Copy the appropriate number of maps for your students.How does this all work?
Start!!! The student should go in partners the first time, and should be staggered about 1-3 min. between each group.
Make sure you time your students so they can compare results with each other.
At the end of the event you need to retrieve all the controls, and ensure that the area you are using is looking the same as when you got there.
To do this you need to make smart route choices.
The path you should take is not marked on your map. You need to decide where to go!!
Remember “the shortest route is not always the fastest.”
Map contact is key. You should always have a rough idea of where you are on the map.
Look out for key features. Keep your eye out for certain landmarks such as fences, trails, large hills, boulders that will assist you in finding the control.
Don’t give up….frustration is inevitable!!Strategy/Technique