Engaging Students with GPS, Geocaching, and Geography

Understanding geography and our place in the world is more important today than ever before. Producing 21st century citizens requires more than teaching students how to read maps. True geographic literacy involves developing in our students geographical inquiry skills: observation, questioning, data collection, analysis, and interpretation. These skills, when applied to learning about location, place, human-environmental interactions, movement and regions, provide the framework for student success in a global society. This project proposal promotes geographic literacy outside our school walls and has the potential of reaching K-12 independent schools throughout the state, country, and even the world.

Through funds received from the DeWitt E. and Vera B. Hooker Fellowship Grant, I was able to purchase 10 GPS along with geocaching supplies (caches, travel bugs, labels, etc.) to develop a GPS/Geocaching curriculum. This wiki, along with my blog GPS, Geocaching, and Geography in the Elementary Students, documents the research I have conducted along with the lesson plans and projects I have completed with my students since Fall 2008.

What Exactly is Geocaching
Geocaching is an engaging, hands-on outdoor scavenger hunt that encourages inquiry and problem-solving. Using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS), students search for hidden caches in different environments - a school playground, across a school campus, at a local nature park, at a museum, across the city etc. – locations for geocaches are limitless. In addition, using the Internet and Google Earth allows students to participate in geocaching activities globally.

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