How Does That Work? The Compass
Grades: 3 - 8

Video Description: New May 2022! Learn how a compass works and how you can use it to help you read maps and find your way home.

Type of Video: Topical*
Unique Video ID: HDTW-1**

Quick Ideas for Using the Video:

  • Before viewing the video, have students look at some compasses to see how they are made, what their dials look like, etc. Have students see if they can figure out where north is in the classroom. Then, to lead in to the video, ask if they have any idea how a compass works.
  • After viewing the video, have students write a journal entry or do a think/pair/share activity where they explain, in their own words, how a compass works.
  • As you study magnetism, use this video in conjunction with How Does That Work: Magnetic Levitation Trains (HDTW-6) and use “magnet” or “magnetism” for student keyword search on the website for more videos about magnetism.
  • Have students look at the still thumbnail image on the video and ask them what they think it’s an image of. Based on that image, what do they think they are going to learn about in the video?


*Topical videos are filmed on location in the classroom/workspace/laboratory, in studio, or a combination of both to explain and/or demonstrate specific concepts, events, topics, or processes.

**The unique Video ID can be used to quickly locate a single video in the ET collection. This search function is designed to let teachers assign students to watch a specific video and have only that video appear as a search result. Just click on Search and choose “By Video ID.” Then type in the Video ID as it appears above. Be sure to include the dash.