Children don’t automatically understand directionality. From the way words are presented on a page, to visual signs, conventional behaviours, left, right, up, down and backwards. Basically, directionality is what helps children understand the environment around them. It helps children identify where things are and where they fit in their relationship to those other things. It is important that we explicitly teach ways to help children with directionality.

Here are 8 ways to help children with directionality:

  1. Identify, teach and reinforce “North,” “South,” “East,” and “West” using their natural and close environment.
  2. When giving directions use the terms “right” and “left” regularly in both formal and informal contexts.
  3. Create strategies for practicing direction using paper and pen in response to verbal instructions. For example, “draw a large tree on the left hand side of the page.”
  4. Be careful about confusion created by mirror images by standing beside the child when giving instructions such as “left” and “right.” 
  5. Use obstacle courses and fun games that require the child to move in directions under instruction. For example, step “over” the rope, skip “around” the tree, crawl “under” the fence.
  6. Play games such as “Simon Says” including instructions that require directionality. For example, “skip around the chair.”
  7. When teaching directionality use tangible and concrete cues such as “left-right” arm bands and “North-South” arrows.
  8. When appropriate emphasise activities that utilise “on-off” instructions. For example, we turn the cooling “on” when it is hot.
8 ways to help children with directionality
8 ways to help children with directionality

Senior Managing Partner and Education Expert Shanna Parry

Shanna Parry
Shanna Parry – Senior Managing Partner

Combining her passions for teaching, training and travel, Shanna Parry has since worked throughout the USA, Middle East, India and China serving as a director (Higher Education), headmaster (Secondary School) and consultant (K-12). Shanna brings a wealth of experience in a variety of critical areas.

In 2018 and 2019 Shanna was identified as top 30 in the Education category for Global Gurus among some of the worlds leading Education experts. Shanna continues to travel extensively to meet the demands for her consulting expertise in administrative and teacher development.

In her role as Senior Managing Partner of GSE she plays a key role in the day-to-day operations as well as pioneering creative models for international schools and providing groundbreaking training methods for directors, administrators, teachers, and students.

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Global Services in Education set up and operate schools in all parts of the world. Governed by a philosophy of global citizenship, every member of the GSE team shares a passion to help shape international education and student achievement through inspiration and collaboration.
Our goal is to meet the highest objectives of every school, teacher, student and parent, with an unwavering dedication to quality education, shared ideals and intercultural perspectives.

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ways to help children with directionality