The Common Core Standards call for a decided shift in the way we teach mathematics, with an increased focus on procedural skill, conceptual fluency, and the ability to flexibly apply math knowledge to new situations and problems, both inside and outside the classroom. Geocaching is a great way of providing your students the opportunity to use real, authentic math in context—without losing the rigor.
Geocaching is a real-world scavenger hunt that uses a GPS—with so many curriculum and cross-curriculum possibilities. For example:
- Math: Teachers can hide treasure and set up geometry puzzle Caches (at their student’s level) around their school and at nearby accessible trails.
- Reading and Math: Caches can be set up as multi-step puzzles involving reading and computation.
- Writing: Students can write a journal entry or a report about the Caches and Trackables found on their adventures. Take it one step further by having students create a digital story with Animoto where they can add illustrations or videos of their day’s treasure with these ideas.
- Geography and Math: Further intrigue students with information on ancient navigation. Students will be surprised when the lesson takes a turn from math into navigating with latitude and longitude. Talk about real-world applications!
Check out these online Geocaching lesson plans.
Acknowledgment: Special thanks to Rebecca Flynn for helping to prepare this blog post.