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GPS Activities and Lesson Plans

GeoCaching- where YOU are the search engine! Is that a bird in the tree? OR, is it a cache container? Does it sound like fun to use a GPS unit to locate a hidden container? The container might be in the woods, in a town park, or right in front of your nose-- you need the Longitude and Latitude of the cache container, a sense of fun and a willingness to think out of the box! GeoCachers agree to a set of basic rules and regulations concerning types of containers, locations of containers, safety of container location, and GeoCacher behaviors while searching for caches. GeoCaching and GPS activities focus on the following techniques: The lesson plans focus on cooperative learning, generating and testing hypotheses, and setting objectives. The section Theory That Supports the Practice provides resources for validating why it works for students.


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Curriculum Information For Resource

Snapshot
Grade Level(s):3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Junior/Community College, University
Curriculum Areas:Technology
Science
Mathematics
History/Social Science
English/Language Arts
Themes/Keywords: Geocaching
Geography
Mapping


Vocabulary
GPS, GeoCache, coordinates, longitude, latitude, topographic map, collaboration, compass, scientific inquiry,geography


Essential Question(s)
1. Why GPS in education?

Discussion Question(s)
1. Where am I or Where in the world is my school?
2. What is GPS mapping?
3. How is geocaching like a treasure hunt?

Extension and Activities
1. These activities are taken from the website:
2. Science - CSI: Cemetery Scene Investigators
3. Students in the class investigated a cemetery to understand why vital primary source documents (headstones) were wearing away. They also investigated the topography, geography, animal & plant life, and architecture existing in the pioneer cemetery.
4. History - Every small town in America, and even some big towns, risk losing a little piece of history each time a long-standing citizen either moves away or passes away. We didn't want to lose that history or those wonderful oral stories, legends, and facts. Not all of history is written down, some is passed down and that is what we hoped to capture with this web site.
5. This project was designed to teach students about the history of the area that they live in. They also learn how to use a GPS and mapping software.
6. Mathematics - GPS Logic Challenge
7. During this activity, students work in groups and use GPS receivers to locate various waypoints in our schoolyard. They gather clues at the waypoints that will help them solve a logic problem. This activity was developed with a math teacher at our school for use in her Problem Solving class.


"My eCoach has been the best tool I have used. eCoach is a user-friendly, time saving, and a universal website. The best part of using eCoach is being able to design a website that enhances learning for students. In such a technology age, 8 and 9 year old students need an outlet for keeping them engaged. My eCoach provides that opportunity for my students, they are able to make the connections with real world applications, use them at school and extend their learning at home. They can talk to each other, share their experiences and what they have learned. What more can we ask for? My-eCoach does it all! "


pictureDonna Blanton
Teacher
Pinellas Park Elementary - Pinellas Park, FL






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