One of my most popular resources with other teachers is my Bearing Murder Mystery. This was my attempt to spice up an otherwise very dull topic for my Year 7 class last year.
Students are charged with the task of solving a crime that has been commited in the City of Oxford (where I am currently based, but also the home of the great Inspector Morse). They must work together in small groups to follow the clues to identify the crime scene, the suspects' locations, the possible weapons, and finally narrow it down to a location and weapon.
I set this challenge to groups with the end result being they must present their findings to me and the other teams, and then I choose the team who solved the case the best (could be quickest or with least mistakes, or best explanations).
Students must remember to draw accurate North lines for their bearings if they are to succeed in this mission (and you may want to print the map onto paper with a grid already on it to make this easier).
There is also an element of scale work in this activity which will require students to think in terms of miles, and use the scale of the map.
I have used this with two sets of year 7 classes, and also with older groups as revision as well. All have thoroughly enjoted it, and done so much measuring of bearings in the session. I have found it a great activity to get the whole class engaged with what can be a rather boring topic.
I am a maths teacher looking to share good ideas for use in the classroom, with a current interest in integrating educational research into my practice.