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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

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 have been working with My eCoach since 1999. The coaching I received from them helped me shape my teaching and pedagogy. I have been incorporating technology into my curriculum ever since. I have seen my struggling students excel, their self-esteem elevated building their pride and self-confidence."

pictureJeffrey Taylor
6th Grade Teacher
Lowell Middle, Oakland USD - Oakland, CA

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