Absolute and Relative Locations


Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion



The social studies in many of North Carolina's schools is taught through the five themes of geography: location, place, movement, human-environmental interaction, and region. You are going to complete several tasks and activities that will help you to better understand the definition of location. It includes both relative and absolute locations. "Which is the most used type of location? Why?" These activities should help you to answer these questions and give specific reasons for your response.


The Task:

Review your students's notes on how to write a concise relative location. You will work with a partner to complete the mapquest activity sheet. After completing the mapquest activity sheet, you will use the absolute location information to write a relative location.


The Process:

At the computer:

  1. Click to view and print the MapQuest Activity Sheet.
  2. Click on Mapquest.
  3. Click on Online Maps.
  4. Enter the mapsearch information to the mapquest activity sheet.
  5. Fill in the information requested for each location on the mapquest activity sheet.
    (Be sure that all information is written down before you move to the next step)
  6. Click on Clear and repeat this process for each address.

Read all directions before you click.

In the classroom:

  1. Use you mapquest activity sheet to create/draw one map that will show all the locations you viewed.
  2. From your map, choose a location to write a relative description for only one of the four addresses you located. Use the main streets as relative points.
  3. Share your map drawing and your relative description with the class. (Be sure your map includes the four parts of a map (title, direction symbol, scale, legend).



Students work will be evaluated based on the following criteria:


Click to view and prnt a rubric for scoring student work.

Notes To The Teacher:

Click to view and print the Vocabulary and Instructional Information to share before doing the
mapquest activity

Click to view and print the students' notes on how to describe a relative location.



After completing all the above tasks and listening to all the presentations, you will better understand the difference between absolute and relative location. You will also be able to answer the questions asked in the introduction: Which is the most used type of location? Why?


Be sure to include your email address here.

GCS WebQuests

Robin Strayhorn
Aycock Middle School
Greensboro, North Carolina 27406