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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.

• Click here for this Web Site
Curriculum Information For Resource

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

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.

"I used My eCoach for a few years as my classroom website and for surveys and quizzes.

Two years ago, the district asked us to learn to use moodle because it is linked to student's grades, etc... At first, the moodle class page was separate, but needed to be accessed by student username and password. Many students forgot passwords or changed them or couldn't get on because of other reasons. This year there is a link within the students portal site to a moodle classroom page. (They still need their username and password.) This link was not to the webpage I had made earlier, but to a new one. I switched all the information over to the new because I was told the parents would be able to access it from their portal site, also. This was not true. I then switched back to My eCoach and found it so easy to use!

The parents and students both can keep up with assignments because they do not need to remember passwords! This past week, I put together an online test in portal-moodle because I was told it would grade the test and link the grade to my gradebook. What a disaster! The transferred grade was not correct and I am dealing with many e-mails from students who could not submit their finished tests. I believe I will try the on-line quiz in My eCoach next time and just copy over the grade.

I am still only using a small portion of what is available in ecoach, but am looking forward to trying all the new things that Barbara and her team have developed over the past year or so."

pictureSusan Brown
High School Science Teacher
Osceola High School - Pinellas, Florida

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