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Geocaching For First Graders

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I'm going to hide a few caches (full of candy or something) at our local elementary school and let the first graders find them. Have a couple of eTrexes that I'll let them use so they can do it in a few groups.

 

Teacher is also letting me talk to the kids about how GPS systems work. Anyone have any demonstrations or such that would work well with showing first graders triangulation or anything else that would be helpful?

 

I walked to the public library (about a mile) with one of the classes last week and I brought along 2 eTrexes with the library and the school as waypoints. The kids loved following the GoTo pointer there and back. Some understood how the crow flies and others kept insisting we should be walking THROUGH someone's house. :(

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You could take a look at howstuffworks.com, they have an article about gps - but I doubt it will be easy to explain first graders about triangulation.

 

Regards,

 

Ilve

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You could take a look at howstuffworks.com, they have an article about gps

Thanks, that's a great site to explain how it all works. Borrowed some GPS units from some geocaching friends today and went to the first grade class. "Hid" a couple of boxes full of candy and drew a map. Gave a little explanation of how GPS works but they were more excited about the treasure hunt and it's all pretty over their head.

 

All in all I think it went well, the kids loved it and I was able to introduce a few adults to the sport/hobby of geocaching. Plus, I got to wear a pirate costume! What's a treasure hunt without a pirate. :mad:

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i m not too sure what you could get a first grader to understand about gps and how it works. i think that you did a good think referencing a treasure hunt. basic orienteering type things would be helpful at first. try using maps of the classroom and of the school and then have them locate things on it and get them familiar with the concept. afterall what is a gps with out a map? it just points you in a direction. sort of like a compass that can be changed to where you want it to point. it is a big jump from learning to read and write and knowing the days of the week and the weather to knowing how a gps triangulates your exact position on the earlth. try introducing a globe and some other maps of the area. i know of one high school that has a topo map of the town on a wall and some of those kids have a hard time understanding it. good luck SC

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Great Work gaviidae Public schools need more people like you! We all shoould volunteer more in our neighborhood school.

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I see nothing but problems......unless you break up the groups in small groups like 4 or 5.....otherwise you will have too many in a pack..and just take over an entire area searching ....don't need a gps for that.....

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I see nothing but problems......unless you break up the groups in small groups like 4 or 5

We did split them into groups of 4 or 5.

 

We didn't use the eTrexes to pinpoint the exact spot, the kids are only 6, we used them to get us to the area and then the cache was easily found.

 

Thanks, GEM's.

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I'm going to hide a few caches (full of candy or something) at our local elementary school and let the first graders find them. Have a couple of eTrexes that I'll let them use so they can do it in a few groups.

 

Teacher is also letting me talk to the kids about how GPS systems work. Anyone have any demonstrations or such that would work well with showing first graders triangulation or anything else that would be helpful?

 

I walked to the public library (about a mile) with one of the classes last week and I brought along 2 eTrexes with the library and the school as waypoints. The kids loved following the GoTo pointer there and back. Some understood how the crow flies and others kept insisting we should be walking THROUGH someone's house. :ph34r:

I want to set up a demonstration for next year for my son's class. Maybe we can collaberate on it as a project over the summer. Sounds like we're looking at a similar age group.

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I intend to use GPS with my 4th graders this autumn. We work with maps in 3rd, most of the kids do get an understanding of that when we start to study the school and scoolyard "from the air".

In 4th grade there is always the same problem: how do I get them to understand longitudes and latitudes.... Fortunately the E006.00.000 is quite close to the school, so this year we will pass that "line" watching the GPS.

To make some more fun of it, we will have an afternoon with kids and parents, where they in small groups will go a preprogrammed route using GPS, to pick up the food and end up where we are going to cook and eat and play.

 

Few of the kids will understand how the GPS works, but all will get an understanding for that it works.

 

Any further tips?

 

:blink:

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The easiest way I have found to explain triangulation is to take a clothes hanger and bent it into a irregular triangle. At the end of each of the points tie a different lenth of string. The clothes hanger represents your satelites and the string represents your time declination. Hold the clothes hanger over a globe or paper map. When you pull the 3 pieces of string together at the bottom you will triangulate your position on the map. It's a easy presentation to use and because it's 3-d most kids getr a feel for what your talking about, atleast a basic idea. I don't know if furst graders would get it but older kids should. Atleast the 4 grade class I explained it to did, I think. Like all kids they were more excited to get out of the classroom for a hour to go "treasure hunting" Hope this gives you some idears

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I'm an old boy scout, and went through all the orienteering training way back when. If you search for Orienteering education materials, you may find some basic info on Lon/Lat that may be at a 1st grade level.

 

Also check out Featured Programs on the Utah State 4-H site. They have some good stuff. See... http://utah4-h.org/

 

I have a 1st grader, and boy does she love to "treasure" hunt when me and her brother go looking for a cache. She mostly likes to dig through the box to find cheap chinese toys! The more cheesey the better.

 

Gustavo

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When you pull the 3 pieces of string together at the bottom you will triangulate your position on the map.

Thanks FUBAR.

 

That's about the best I've ever understood it, too.

 

We're going to try this with an 8th grade creative writing class of all things. They will have to:

 

1) write technical manual (how it works)

2) write creative cache page (cache w/ story)

3) evaluate a 'bad' cache page for grammar errors

4) publish their work (by hiding a cache and posting)

 

Still working out the kinks, but should meet some major course objectives.

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Good job with the kids. :lostsignal:

 

Plus, I got to wear a pirate costume! What's a treasure hunt without a pirate.

 

Hey, I always wear a pirate costume when geocaching. crackup.gif

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