Five ideas you can teach through geocaching

Geocaching is something that I spend a lot of time talking about in my workshops and in my webinars about the combination of technology with outdoor learning. Geocaching is a great activity that can take kids out for a hands-on learning experience. Here are five things you can learn through geocaching activities.

Geo-spatial awareness
The key to geocaching activity is to detect hidden caches This can be done by using GPS (either on a phone, on a smartwatch or on a dedicated GPS unit) or in an “old school” way of using maps. Finding a cache requires students to understand the distance between two or more places.

Cardinal directions
Do your students know which way to turn if you tell them to walk north? Teach them about key directions through geocaching activities. You can set up geocaching activities in and around your school yard so that students do not need to use any electronic devices. Simply create a map or create a list of clues that give students information about the directions and distances they need to go to find a series of caches.

Earth science
Let students use their knowledge of rock type or plant type when searching for geocache. You can include a little civic duty in the lesson by asking students to pick up the rubbish they find while geocaching.

If you or your students use the official geocaching website to search for cash in your area, you can find those boundaries on private property. This is an opportunity to teach students to respect the property of others. Another opportunity to teach a lesson about citizenship is found in playing the rules of geocaching. For example, students should not move the cash they receive.

Digital citizenship
Like any activity that involves an online, the public-oriented elements participating in government geocaching activities give us a good opportunity to review the basics of good digital citizenship. Students who are caching for inclusion in Geocache’s public list should be careful not to include personally identifiable and other sensitive information in their descriptions and hints.

Bonus items: It’s hard for me to talk about geocaching without thinking about a few classic “geography songs”. Enjoy!

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