Lesson 1: Puzzle Project


One of the first things teachers do at the beginning of the year is to get to know their students through a number of activities. Engaging students in these activities year after year can be daunting as the y progress through the grades. This year, we would like utilize the GPS units as a tool to initiate introductions and classmate learning styles. Our first project will introduce GPS units by having students complete a collaborate treasure hunts.

  • GPS Units
  • Smart Notebook
  • Puzzle Pieces with Learning Style words and activities
  • GPS Quick Start Guide Copie
  • GPS Explore your GPS Unit Checklist
· Students will identify and demonstrate basics navigate usages of GPS units
· Students will read and locate GPS marks
· Students will identify independent learning styles
· Students will evaluate different navigate screens and determine independent preferences for finding GPS marks
· Students will share prior knowledge and experience using GPS units
· Students will engage in learning style activities to experience different ways of approaching problems or tasks

Part One: Introduction of GPS units
(Anticipatory Set) How many of you use GPS units throughout your day and for what purpose? Have students make a list of ways students utilize, interact, or experience GPS systems to share with their classmates.
  1. Introduce GPS units with your class and demonstrate basics of the GPS unit.
  2. Then, using the GPS Quick Start Guide, have students partner or trio and practice using the tools within the GPS units to familiarize themselves.
  3. The students will use an Explore Your GPS unit checklist to reference and take notes on for further support.
Closure: Go over items on checklist and have students share findings, tips, and new knowledge with each other while teacher(s) facilitate the discussion. Have a student record the discussion on Smart Notebook to develop a reference guide.
Part Two: Puzzle Projects
Preparation- Using GPS units and Easy GPS software, we will mark points outside our school and then upload them to the Easy GPS. The points will them be downloaded to each GPS unit for the Puzzle Project.
(Anticipatory Set) This problem solving question gets students to actively demonstrate their dominant learning styles.
Great Valley Nature Center Guides have come to visit and have asked for your help in engaging others in learning about your school habitat. How do you determine what to show them and in what ways would you share that information so that it would be available as a resource for a global audience?
1. Students will work independently to solve the problem. The answer is not nearly as significant as how the approach the problem and attempt to solve it. The purpose of this problem will be to visually demonstrate to themselves and others how learning styles differ in the classroom.
2. Students will participate in a treasure hunt of “school gems”- places and points of interest throughout our school using GPS units using the GPS marks downloaded by the teacher.
3. Each Treasure Mark will have a puzzle piece with a different learning style and/or activity to complete.
4. Upon completion of finding their marks, students will bring the puzzle pieces back together and complete the formation of the final puzzle.
5. Students will share activities attributed to learning styles and identify which learning styles they tend to gravitate towards.
Closure: Have students share what navigate screen was the most helpful in locating the marks and connect that their learning style.
Assessment: Observations, Checklist

Lesson 2: Marking a Site with GPS Units
A major part of GIS and GPS studies involves learning to gather and organize data. Whether it involves measuring and GPS reading of each tree in the school year or a more complex project, students and teachers learn to work together to identify a topic, gather data and get that data into format for others to see, use, and analyze. In these sessions the students will use hand-held GPS receivers to determine and mark the position of their schools and elements within their outdoor schoolyard habitat.
  • Smart Notebook Software
  • GPS Receiver Units
  • Easy GPS program
  • Digital Cameras
  • Google Maps/Earth
· Students will determine their location on Earth using GPS units.
· Students will use GPS units to mark self-selected locations around the school.
· Students will upload GPS data to Easy GPS.
· Students will share the location of their school and selected elements around their school with other participating classes/students around the globe by creating place

marks on Google Map/Earth mapping their marked sites.
Part One: Introduction to Marking a Site
(Anticipatory Set) Revisit and engage students in a discussion of the Global Schoolyard Habitat Problem. Extend the discussion, asking them to brainstorm ideas make of places in around their school that they find important, valuable, interesting, and/or significant. Use Smart Notebook to record these ideas in a list.
  1. Demonstrate how to use the GPS unit to mark a site.
  2. As a class, select one item from the list to demonstrate marking a site outdoors.
  3. Ask students to individually select one additional item whose location they would like to mark using their GPS units.
  4. Group students into pairs and provide them with a GPS unit and digital camera.
  5. Move to the outdoors and gather the class by the site to be marked.
  6. Once more, demonstrate how to mark the site as students follow along, marking the site on their own GPS units. In addition, show students how they should also take a photo of their site.
  7. Clarify any questions students have. Practice marking additional sites with students who need further practice.
  8. Instruct partners to independently search out their selected sites and mark each one using their GPS unit. Students should be sure to record information to be able to identify and distinguish each of the sites they marked.
Part 2: Organizing and Sharing Data
1. Students will return to the classroom with their GPS units with marked sites data and their digital camera photos.
2. Engage the students in a discussion of ways that students could share their data. Record all student ideas Using Smart Notebook.
3. Then show students the Easy GPS program. Demonstrate how they can simply download their marked sites from their GPS units onto Easy GPS.
4. Demonstrate how to import the marked sites into Google Earth.
5. Review with students how they can use Google Earth / Maps to create a placemark. Demonstrate adding a placemark for a one of the marked sites and how to add a photo of the site to the placemark.
6. Discuss what other important information could be added to the placemark, including name of the element and descriptive details. Have students refer to the class created nature guide and other sources for specific information to include about plants, trees and other natural items.
7. Provide time for all partner groups to download their marked sites into class folder on Easy GPS.
8. Provide time for all partner groups to add placemarks for their marked sites on the class Google Earth / Map file.
9. Extension: Have interested students make a path/record a tour of all of the sites found and marked.
10. As a class, have student partners share their placemarks with each other. Ask other class members to share any additional information they have about the selected placemarked items and to raise further questions they would like answer.

(Closure) Plan and implement Skype or Elluminate chats with the Great Valley Nature Center to students to share their work and to seek out additional information related to each of their placemarks.
  • Observation, Checklist of Basis GPS / GIS Skills

Lesson Three: Choice Your Own Adventure Books


  • Student Created Map with Marked Sites (GIS map)
  • GPS units
  • Digital Camera
  • GIS software (Easy GPS for PCs)
  • Writing Process Worksheets and Planning Models
  • Choose Your Own Adventure Books
  • Mentor Texts
  • Internet and Media Resources
  • Access to the Library
  • Google Maps
  • Classroom Web page
  • Rubrics


  • Students will identify elements of a good adventure story.
  • Students will determine examples of good beginnings, suspenseful events, interesting actions and alternate endings by using mentor texts.
  • Students will read multiple Choose Your Own Adventure books and identify the structure and organization of the story
  • Students will utilize their Google Map of their School's Habitat to identify and describe unique traits inherit within the setting and characters
  • Students will craft their own Choose Your Adventure incorporating the elements of a good adventure story.
  • Students will incorporate research of their school's habitat and inhabitants within the elements of fiction.
  • Students will use digital media to visually represent their descriptive settings.
  • Students will upload their digital media and their longitude and latitude GPS marks to a Google Map to share with global partners.
  • Students will post their Stories and Google Maps to their Wiki space for final publication to the public.
  • Students will evaluate the use of digital images embedded into their Choose Your Own Adventure Story to enhance the exploration of the school's habitat

Part One: Sharing Choose Your Own Adventure Books and finding Author Mentors

(Anticipatory Set) Start by asking your students, "Who ever read any of the Choose Your Own Adventure books?" Even if students haven't read one, they generally understand the format of the books. Talk about what they know and remember of them. If you do have a copy of one, show it off, and encourage your students to start reading them. As a class, read out loud one of the Choose your Own Adventures books, and enjoy choosing different suspenseful events and endings.

  1. Ask your students to generate a list of "elements of a good adventure story," by themselves or in small groups.
  2. Share and then create a classroom list.
  3. Try to highlight or encourage the following two elements on the classroom list: 1) an interesting adventurer; and 2) strong details that center on interesting actions, 3) suspenseful events, and 4) alternate endings.
  4. Using a guided reading book, independent reading book, or favorite novel have student find examples of their favorite authors using suspense, action packed events, and exciting endings. Have students place post it notes in the books to use as mentor texts when developing their own Choose Your Own Adventure.

Closure: Have students expand on their introduction with Choose Your Own Adventure Books and challenge them to think about how they could use a Choose Your Own Adventure Book to showcase their school experience.

Part Two: Using Research to Build Setting and Characters

(Anticipatory Set) Refer to Nature Valley Center Guide Problem and brainstorm ways that a Choose Your Own Adventure books would engage visitors and/or other students to learn more about their school's habitats.

  1. Introduce the concept of Researching as an Author. The purpose of researching the area in which the story will take place, allows you to incorporate unique characteristics into a fictional piece. What elements of a story might benefit from research when crafting your Choose Your Own Adventure book to highlight and engage visitors and students to learn more about the school's habitat? Allow students to brainstorm story elements and share ideas.
  2. Refer to the Google Map of their Habitat created in the prior lesson ( Marking and Creating Maps using GPS and GIS software), and review unique traits of their school's habitat. How can those unique traits help build a fictional story? ( Talk about descriptive settings and characters)
  3. Have students research using library resources, Internet searches, and other media sources to build a working knowledge and understanding of their surrounding habitat.
  4. Have students use their marks as starting points to where unique plants, trees, animals, other natural resources are in the area to build a descriptive setting and well defined characters. All stories must contain interesting elements located in their Google Maps as well as accurate setting descriptions of their Marks.

Closure: Exit Ticket- How does incorporating research help support a fictional piece? Provide specific examples of how it will help your audience relate to your story.

Part Three: Merging Digital Media with A Choose your Own Adventure

(Anticipatory Set): Revisit our initial brainstorm of various ways to convey and receive information in today's globally connected world. Have students determine how many ways their can use technology and literature to convey their information about school habitats to a global audience? Engage student to uncover what techniques they have already begun and what others may need to be use for other learning styles.

  1. Have students reread their Choose their Own Adventure book and determine areas where digital pictures may assist in visualizing the written descriptions. Have students star areas that would benefit from a picture.
  2. Have students go outside and locate the GPS marks again and take accurate pictures highlighting these unique characteristics. For example: As Robby the Robin walked passed a vibrant array of poison ivy scaling the northern exterior walls of the first floor... ( may benefit from not only GPS markings but a digital image)
  3. Have students evaluate the need for pictures and converse with their classmates to determine they are still making the reader imagine and not force feed them with images. This evaluative process will help students see the purpose for pictures and the pitfalls of too many images.
  4. Students will them upload these images to their School Habitat Google Map and mark the location with a name and a GPS longitude and latitude location. These will them become natural stopping points in their GPS Choose Your On Adventure Story.

Closure: Because this digital media involves working with many different user levels, we will have the students fill out Exit Slips sharing 3 new ideas they developed or 3 skills they tried, 2 things they still need support in understanding (conceptual or skill), and one way they are attempting to reach their global audience.

Part Four: Reflection and Publication

  1. Before publishing their Adventures and GIS maps to their wikispaces, students will engage in peer reviewing and peer editing of stories as well as GIS maps. Students will actively engage in each others Stories and locate marks as the story develops. Reviewers will be responsible for making sure all GPS locations are accurate and indicated on GIS maps, all clues and story variants have a follow through of action to the next GPS mark, story elements are well developed, creative, represent accurate and unique elements of their school's habitat, digital pictures support and not overwhelm the fictional story, and they are able to engage the reader.
  2. Upon completing of the peer review, students will submit final drafts for teachers to review.
  3. Students will then upload their Choose Your Own Adventure Story, GIS map complete with digital images to the Class wikipage. The stories will be shared with global partners and with visitor/ other students throughout the school district.

  • Project Rubric will address:GPS skills, Story Elements, Research Skills, Digital Media, and GIS Skills
  • Checklist of Basic GPS / GIS Skills
  • Writing Process Rubric for Narrative Writing

GPS and Geocaching Sample Schedule

Class Work
Day 1
Introduction to GPS
GPS WebQuest
What is GPS? NASA Video or Brain Pop
How GPS works? Launchpad: How GPS Works
What are GPS receivers and how do they work? Garmin Video
Important Vocabulary
Make a video, a podcast, a picture, a poem, a song or something else to tell us about what you have learned about the words longitude, latitude, and satellite; how your GPS unit works;
Day 2
Introduction: Geocaching with the Garmin eTrex
Demonstrate how to use the Garmin eTrex
Student Practice using the Quick Start Checklist
Geocaching: Puzzling Practice

Day 3
Introduction: Creating Way Points with the Garmin eTrex
Demonstrate how to mark and name Waypoints
Student Practice Marking Trees and Plants around the school property
Download waypoints to Easy GPS

Day 4
GPS Action Project
Brainstorm Topics for Partner Action Projects
Select Action Project
Action Project Work: Create Geocache Clues
Individual Project Support
Action Project Work: Create Geocache Clues
Day 5
GPS Action Project
Review and revise Geocache Clues
Map route for GPS Action Project
Mark and Name Waypoints and Hide Geocache Clues
Individual Project Support
Action Project Work: Finish Geocache Clues
Day 6
Grade 2 Field Trip
GPS Action Project
Download Waypoints to Easy GPS
Finish: Mark and Name Waypoints and Hide Geocache Clues
Individual Project Support
Action Project Work
Progress Log
Day 7
Field Day Grade 3
GPS Action Project
Create Project Teaser
Demonstrate uploading to Google Earth
Send a Classroom Geocache
http://gpstravel.wikispaces.com/2009classrooms Trackable Items http://gpstravel.wikispaces.com/trackable
Individual Project Support
Finish Project Teaser
Make a video, a podcast, a picture, a poem, a song or something else to tell us about your experiences.
Day 8
GPS Action Project Implementation

Day 9
GPS Action Project Implementation

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