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Caching in Pine's Treasures

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Keywords: GPS
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Technology
Grades 6 through 12
School: Carolina Forest High School, Myrtle Beach, SC
Planned By: Nancy Nelson
Original Author: Jenny McElveen, Franklinton
Caches will be created on our school campus outlining junior high topics in Social Studies. While working in cooperative groups, students will use GPS units to find the hidden caches, digital cameras to photograph the location, contents, and group members, complete the assigned tasks at each location, and leave a required element at each site.

Back in the classroom, students will compare, contrast, compile, and categorize the photographs and information. Students will use Tool Factory Workshop to create technology projects. Tool Factory Word Processor would be used to write reports and “books.” Tool Factory Database would be used to create a database of social studies information. Tool Factory Spreadsheet would be used to create graphs and charts. Finally, Tool Factory Painter would be used with the photographs. Students will share their presentations with peers, teachers, staff, community members and parents.

Even though the focus of this project is Social Studies, students will also gain and apply knowledge from the other content areas. For example, students will be expected to write using proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation (ELA-2-M1, M6) (ELA-3-M3). This will enable the teacher to teach the students on topics in an integrated form.
All students will benefit from this because it will provide opportunities for students to be creative. It provides an opportunity to “step outside the box” and teach the concepts without using the textbook. This will eliminate boredom that is sometimes found in junior high classrooms.

Broad Goals
1. Students will collaborate and interact with peers solving group tasks. (group work using GPS units and cameras)
2. Students will publish technology projects. (in technology lab)
3. Students will navigate around the school campus using technology devices in the real world. (GPS caches)
4. Students will use digital cameras to photograph cache locations, contents of caches, and group members. (minimum goals)
5. Students will increase content knowledge in Social Studies. (caches)
6. Students will apply content knowledge into new situations and subjects. (applications of GPS caches and lessons)

Technology Standards:

1. Demonstrate the operations of a computer and peripheral devices at an intermediate level. (Technology projects, cameras, and GPS units)
2. Compose and edit a multi-page document with appropriate formatting using word-processing skills. (Technology projects)
3. Use multimedia tools and desktop publishing to develop and present computer-generated projects for directed and independent learning activities. (Technology projects)
4. Use technology tools to gather information for problem solving, communication, collaborative writing, and publishing to create products for various audiences. (Technology projects, cameras, and GPS units)

Beginning of Unit:
1. Teacher will explain, demonstrate, and model how to use the digital cameras and GPS units.
2. Students will learn how to operate the camera using hands-on methods and the Digital Camera Basics workbooks.
3. Students will practice taking photographs and practice inserting them into documents.
4. Students will practice using the GPS units to find hidden caches.

During the Unit:
The teacher will
1. instruct students on proper writing techniques, focusing on proper English and grammar
2. instruct students on grading procedures, expectations, and rubrics/checklists
3. create and hide “caches” on Social Studies topics
4. create rubrics/checklists for technology projects
5. develop/design templates or “storyboard” for student projects
6. model how to use props when making informal and formal classroom presentations
7. instruct students on how to use the Tool Factory Workshop to combine their photographs with explanations to create books, charts, and graphs
8. organize “Classroom Technology Fair” for students to share their presentations with their peers, community members, and parents.

The students will
1. work constructively in groups creating digital photographs of events and using GPS units
2. compare, contrast, compile, and categorize the photographs they took using the digital camera
3. use GPS units to find hidden caches
4. obtain knowledge of Social Studies topics by photographing caches/contents, completing tasks at caches, and compiling information from caches.
5. combine their photographs with their explanations to create books, charts, and graphs using Tool Factory Workshop
6. share these with peers, community members, and parents.

At the end of this unit the students will
1. Use a variety of developmentally appropriate resources and productivity tools (e.g., logical thinking programs, writing and graphic tools, digital cameras, graphing software) for communication, presentation, and illustration of thoughts, ideas, and stories (e.g., signs, posters, banners, charts, journals, newsletters, and multimedia presentation.) (1,3,4) (LA Technology Standard)
2. Use technology tools (e.g., publishing, multimedia tools, and word processing software) for individual and for simple collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities for a variety of audiences. (1,3) (LA Technology Standard)
3. Describe major early explorers and explorations significant to Louisiana or early settlers in Louisiana H-1D-M1-71
4. Explain the causes, course, and consequences of the American Revolutionary War H-1B-M6-51
5. Explain the role of key figures in the American Revolution H-1B-M6-53
6. Identify the structure and powers of the three branches of the federal government, the limits of those powers, and key positions within each branch C-1A-M5-15
7. Describe major events, key figures, and social structure of the Early Middle Ages (e.g., the fall of Rome, Charlemagne, feudalism) H-1C-M10-44

In order to implement this project, planning time will be used to develop “caches” for the students that will stimulate creative thinking and focus on content knowledge. Time will also be spent on hiding the caches and programming the GPS units. Instructional time will also be spent demonstrating how to use the GPS units and cameras and allowing students time to “practice” navigating and picture taking. Multiple experiences using the GPS and cameras will be required so students will learn how to use the device correctly. Since students will work in groups, everyone will be given the opportunity to use the device and direct the group toward the cache. Students will also document the experience using the digital cameras.
Since the activities in this project focus around incorporating technology into Social Studies lessons, all caches and activities will be content driven and technology rich. Students will learn about concepts and apply the knowledge in a new situation/project. This will encourage students to learn the concept and how to use technology in a meaningful way.
Progress will be determined according to the success of finding the caches, interaction of group members, and quality of digital photographs and technology projects created as a result of participating in cache activities. If student success is not obvious, additional time will be spent on reteaching the concept, other caches, and research, if necessary. In order to document student success, a checklist will be used to evaluate students during group work activities, as well as individual activities. Informal grades will be from observations and teacher questions. Formal grades will be decided using a rubric on technology projects. Students will also be assessed on tests.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Caches could be any subject area, such as Math. Students also complete caches with mathematical questions on Social Studies content. Students could also use digital cameras and GPS units in other caches.
Students will demonstrate to other students, parents, staff, and community members how to navigate using the GPS unit and how to take digital photographs with the camera. Students could design their own caches for others to find.
Materials: Digital SLR, Word Processor, Database, Camera Bags, xD Memory Cards, Flash/USB Drives
Other Items: 5 Garmin eTrex Handheld GPS Receivers, $100 each, total of $500.00