2006 Geographic Literacy Study
• Young Americans (18-24) answered
about half of the questions correctly.
• Six in ten couldn’t ﬁnd Iraq on a map.
• Three-quarters couldn’t ﬁnd Indonesia
(soon after the tsunami) or that it is
the largest Muslim country in the
• Three-quarters believed English is the
most commonly spoken language in
the world (rather than Mandarin
• Only half could identify the states of
New York and Ohio on a map.
• Despite news coverage and natural
disasters, young American have a
weak knowledge of geography.
• Students are unprepared for a global
Using a GPS, Geocaching & Geography in the Classroom
• “Where In The World” - Tracking the
whereabouts of an Air Force Ofﬁcer as
he travels throughout the world.
• Weekend Family Geo-tracking
Where In The World?
• Create a Google Form & have people
send their coordinates.
• Create a Cluster Map & keep track of
the locations of your visitors.
• Ask your PLN to send you their
Geocaching in the
• What is Geocaching?
• How does the GPS system work?
• How can I use a GPS to teach?
• How can I integrate it into my
• Our ﬁrst Geocache was about directions &
positions (understanding the compass and
• Continents - The containers had clues about a
speciﬁc continent. They had to decipher the
clues & research the continent.
• Trip Around the World - Each group created
clues about their continent & created a waypoint
for their cache. Everyone visited each continent
and stamped their passport.
• American Symbols - Clues were about
different American Symbols. They
researched to ﬁgure out the symbol.
They created a Google Site containing
information, slideshow, Google Map,
• Pennsylvania Information - They had
to ﬁnd information to answer the
question about Pennsylvania
geography and facts. Then they
created a Google Presentation.
• Science Observation - Observe what is
happening in the location. Record &
compare ﬁndings (temperature, living
organisms, seasonal changes.)
• Math Equations - Containers have
equations to answer before going to
the next clue.
• Writing Prompt - Use descriptive
language to write about their
• Field Trips - Create a Community Walk
or Google Map with pictures and
information of the trip.
• Student Assessment - Students create
the content of the cache for their
• School Events - Use Geocaching
instead of Scavenger Hunts.
Geocaching, it’s a lot of fun
because it is like a treasure hunt.
Sometimes it is freezing cold.
Sometimes it is really hot. They
can be in plain sight or be hidden
really good. If you’re using a
GPS, like we were, it makes it a
whole lot easier because it is an
electronic map. Wherever you
are, it is always fun to Geocache.
I love Geocaching because you get
fresh air and take a breath. You don’t
have to sit around doing a plain old
worksheet. You get to learn new
stuff. Geocaching is something
different. I think Geocaching is one of
the best things I learned this year.
Geocaching is the funniest thing to do
in the world. I like Geocaching
because it is exciting. My class
Geocached in the snow, the grass, and
on the blacktop. We were the ﬁrst
team to ﬁnd our box. It was about the
Pennsylvania ﬂag. We think we did
good on our Geocaching slideshow.
I think Geocaching is cool because you
get to have fun and learn at the same
time. We learn our south, east, west
and north. If the arrow on the GPS is
pointing to a wall, we know to go
around it, not to go right into it.
That’s why Geocaching is so awesome.
• Students take home the
GPS over the weekend.
• They teach their family
how to use the GPS.
• They go to local parks
and ﬁnd waypoints.
• They write their
experiences in the