- Latitude and Longitude for Kids and Teachers Illustration

Latitude and

For Kids: The earth is a globe. The system of latitude and longitude is a man-made system for finding a location anywhere on the surface of the globe. Latitudes are imaginary lines drawn around the globe from side to side, horizonally. Longitudes are imaginary lines drawn up and down, vertically.

Latitude: Latitude starts at the Equator. The imaginary line that circles the globe (the earth) at the Equator is called zero. Numbers go up and down from there. Latitude is not measured in miles, but in degrees between ninety and zero in both hemispheres (northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere.) So there are only 180 imaginary lines going around the globe, plus the line for zero that circles the Equator.

Longitude is a series of 360 imaginary lines that circle the earth from Pole to Pole. The line that runs from Pole to Pole and measures zero in longitude runs though London, England. 

You can find any point on the globe if you know the latitude and the longitude of that point, or its coordinates.

This may sound a bit confusing. First, watch a short, fun video for kids, and then play some games. Once you do, I think you will agree that latitude and longitude are handy things to understand and use, even if they are imaginary.

Longitude and Latitude (video)

Can you find the hidden treasures? Latitude and Longitude game

Maps and More Maps, Longitude and Latitude game

Coordinates online game

Time Zones Game

Prime Meridian, Equator, Hemispheres

For Teachers

Latitude and Longitude homework sheet, free from TPT

Prime Meridian, Equator, Hemispheres lesson plans and activities

Free Presentations in PowerPoint format about Geography