Even with all of today’s awesome GPS tools for navigation, there are still times when we need to be able to give good point to point directions. In this apptivity, we’ll be using the Maps and Voice Memo apps on the iPod touch to practice transferring spatial graphic directions into verbal directions.


Begin by reviewing with your students how the Maps app works. It is a good idea to point out:

  • the orientation button which centers the map to your current location
  • that we pinch to zoom out and expand two fingers to zoom in
  • the difference between search and direction modes
  • how to conduct a search by address (home) or landmark name (school)
  • how to make a bookmark
  • Search for Directions


    Instruct the students to change the view to the classic map view (not satellite), then find and create bookmarks for their house and school.

    Use the bookmarks to generate directions from their house to school.

    Move through the step by step directions while reading them aloud.  Encourage them to use landmarks from the screen or from their own experience in their descriptions.  (Switch to the list view to practice with step by step printed directions, if you have trouble)

    Once you are comfortable giving the directions, open the Voice Memos app and begin a new recording.

    Record your Directions

    Voice Memo App

    Voice Memo

    Double tap the Home button on your iPod to reveal all the currently running apps.  Tap the Maps app icon to switch back to maps.   Notice that Voice Memo continues to record in the background (see the red bar at the top of the screen).

    Say your name, the date, and that you’ll be giving us directions from your house (Give the address!) to our school.

    When you are finished, double tap the home button to switch back to Voice Memo.  Stop the recording.

    Label your recording with a custom label – Directions from “Your Name”

    Now listen to the verbal directions you gave and see how clearly you can picture the movement from point A to point B.

    Test your Directions with a Buddy!

    Swap iPods with a friend and listen to their directions as you follow along with your finger in the Maps app.