Treasure Hunt 365
Geocaching has become a hugely popular activity for families and individuals over the last few years. Many schools actively take part in this fun, challenging and collaborative activity. Lots of co and cross curricula-learning can be generated for students of all ages. Here we espouse the idea of schools developing their own activities within their own school grounds.
Activity Title: ‘Caching In’
Subject: Computing (with links to Design and Technology)
Age Group: KS 2
Overview of the Activity
This activity is derived from the world-wide popular phenomenon of ‘Geocaching’. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game where hidden containers (caches) have to be searched for and found using a variety of different navigation processes such as maps and GPS devices. These notes will enable you to create different versions of Geocaching in your school grounds.
Maps of your school site, watertight containers, GPS devices or GPS apps (optional), information cards and other items to go into the containers.
- To orientate pupils to the school site, main features, go and no-go areas.
- To develop navigation, direction and mapwork skills.
- To develop ICT skills in graphics and design.
- To explore problem solving skills in small teams.
Time will need to be spent sourcing good quality containers and it will require you to set up routes, markers and cache sites in advance. However this is something that the students can do themselves, perhaps one class or year group on behalf of another. You will probably need to spend time developing navigation and map reading skills.
The format, duration and degree of complexity of the activity can be varied enormously but here are a few options.
Getting to Know the School – It’s an interesting and fun way for students (particularly new arrivals) to get to know their school and grounds. You can include information on certain teachers and teaching areas, historically interesting and quirky facts or even what to do in the event of an accident or fire. This could build to a full historical tour.
GPS vs Orienteering – Have some pupils look for the cache using traditional orienteering methods via grid references of marked points on a map of the school site. Whilst others can do the same using way point co-ordinates put into a GPS device if you have one (if not you can use an ‘app version’ on
ipads/phones or other mobile devices).
Create a Quiz – Using several caches at different locations have pupils complete the answer to a puzzle, conundrum or tricky question before they move on to the next. The answer could give them a number which could be the co-ordinates or grid reference of the next cache.
Build a Story – Create a route whereby they must add to and build a story, line by line with each group adding to what has been written previously.
Understanding Nature – Site caches at places where pupils must look, read about and bring back samples from nearby flora, fauna and/or information on habitats and ecosystems.
Think about imaginary items to put in the cache containers as well as places to hide them.
Ask what were the real success factors for this exercise? Which clues or cache locations were most challenging?
Compare answers to clues and the items brought back.
Create versions of the activity that you can take to different locations such as nearby parks and forests.
Create a version for students and parents to do together on open days.
As allows please leave your comments, experiences and feedback. Happy Easter!
These lesson plans and activities are taken from our LOC Handbook. Please see our web page for more details www.schooloutdoorlearning.com/loc-handbook