What do pirates, 2nd graders, gps units, and math all have in common? Pirate geocaching, of course!
This summer, I had the opportunity to work with a great bunch of 2nd graders during summer school. This group loved technology, and so I decided to organize a Math review using our GPS units. Since it was summer time, and we were reading stories about pirates and the ocean, the theme naturally lent itself to pirates! Plus pirates are really fun!!
So, here’s how it all went down:
1) I organized the caches the students needed to find around the pirate theme. At each cache, students needed to solve a 2nd grade math problem to know what to bring back to the “Captain.” A big thanks to Joani Sotherden, Kathy Smith and Diane Rose for this part of the project! They helped me come up with the problems for each cache.
Download cache questions (Print on Avery size 8164 labels).
Here are pictures of the caches and their contents:
Next, Meg Swecker joined me one afternoon to help find great hiding spots for the six caches around South Salem Elementary. We programed in each location on six gps units.
Judy Fisher (the other second grade teacher) and I rounded up some adults to help lead each group. We also organized our two 2nd grade classes into six different teams of four students each. Then morning before the event, we hid the caches in their spots. A clipboard was made for each team that consisted of:
- a ziplock baggie (for the loot)
- a list of caches to find (in a different order for each team)
- scrap paper
- the rules and tips and tricks and job responsibilities
- a pencil
Download Directions and Tips and Tricks
Right before we went out to do the activity, we gave the students pirate hats (free from Long John Silvers), set up the scenario, gave some basic rules, and assigned teams.
Each team was given their clipboard. The adults quickly showed their group of students how to use the gps units, and they were off!
It was so much fun! Everyone had a blast, and I was amazed to see students who struggled to complete work at their desks take lead rolls as they trekked around the schoolyard solving math problems.
A big thanks to all those people who showed up to learn about geocaching or to lend a hand, including…
Co-Teacher: Judy Fisher (she also supplied the awesome pirate hats)
Group Leaders: Judy’s son–“Mr. Fisher,” Hunter Routt, Sherri Tompkins, Debbie Stanley
Photographer : Diane Rose
Math Problems: Joani Sotherden, Kathy Smith and Diane Rose
Partner-in-Crime: Meg Swecker (who’s always up for an adventure, pirate or otherwise)
Here are some other fun pirate resources:
Magic Treehouse: Pirates at Past Noon by Mary Pope Osbourne
Do Pirates Take Baths? by Kathy Tucker
(This book is great for a writing prompt, especially writing asking and telling sentences).