Note – This was designed as a collaborative lesson between a social studies teacher and a mathematics teacher on a 7th grade academic team.

Lesson Name: The GEOgraphy and GEOmetry Amazing Race


Social Studies Objectives:
- Distinguish between relative and absolute location using GPSr units to identify w waypoints.
- Design a world tour of the continents providing pertinent information on each region.

Mathematics Objectives:
- Evaluate the accuracy of Global Information Systems such as our GPSr units.
- Compare the distance between continents in the activity in relation to distance in “real” life.
- Create a geometrical representation of travel routes using the Cartesian coordinate system.
- Demonstrate the process of finding average route times mathematically.

Technology Objectives:
- Plan and construct a tour of the world using the points provided, Google Earth, Google Maps, and information from class.
- Summarize caching experience using digital photographs and or video clips.
- Illustrate specific regions of the world in Google Earth tours using videos, information, and photographs gathered from the web.

Activating Activities/Warm-Up:
Students enter classroom with a video clip from the CBS Television Program, “The Amazing Race.”
Following the clip, students are asked a series of discussion questions:
-How do those participate know where to go? (they are given clues)
-Five hundred years ago, how did people know which direction to travel to get to places?
-How did your grandparents or ancestors know how to get from place to place?
-How did your parents/aunt/uncles know how to get from place to place when they were growing up?
-How do you find different places now? (Brainstorm: Online Maps & Directions, Memory, Landmarks, etc).

Materials Needed:
- 6 Garmin GPSr units for student use
- 7 varies sized plastic or rubber containers to be used as geocaches for each “continent”
- Cache items for each location (log book, social studies artifact/clue and mathematics problem in each cache)
- 6 digital cameras for students to document their experience
- Extra AA batteries
- Stopwatches/pocket watches for students to document their time traveling from location to location
- Student laptops for uploading photos and waypoints once completed
- Software: Garmin MapSource, MacCaching for OS X, GeoJournal, or Geocaching Swiss Army Knife
- “Prize” for winner of the Amazing GEOgraphy and GEOmatry Amazing Race.

Process & Strategies:
- Students will be divided into six groups and be provided with general training using the Garmin GPSr unit.
- Students will be completing a “trip around the world” using installed waypoints, or saved locations, on the GPSr units. Each waypoint represents a different continent on the Earth that the students have or will be learning about in our geography course.
-These “continents” will each contain a cache and be positioned somewhere on the North Hills School District campus, a large hill-top surrounded by ball fields, tennis courts, recreational areas, and two school buildings.
-Continent caches will be distributed as if the campus was the world. Thus, if a student is moving North, they are moving away from South America, and if a student is moving east, they are moving towards Asia.
-Students will be provided with stopwatches or pocket watches to document their travel times between locations for later use in math class.

Each student group reports their discoveries of the social studies clues and mathematics clues to the respective teacher of each course. In upcoming lessons, their findings will be utilized for further instruction.

Social Studies – Students in social studies will utilize Google Earth and Google Maps to document their trip around the world. They will be expected to use their way points to post where they “traveled” and then the corresponding clue area (i.e. Moscow, Russia) on Google Earth. They will also be able to upload their photos documenting their journey and will be required to write a paragraph about the actual location. Students will be able to upload photos of actual locations to help document the area (i.e. Russian winter or Red Square). Each group presentation will be uploaded to my wiki page at for anyone to view.

Mathematics – Students will use a variety of data sets taken from the geocache to perform various mathematic functions. These include creating a geometric representation of their travels around the school campus using the Cartesian coordinate system, calculating their average time spent looking for a cache, creating an equation that represents the scale of our campus to the world, as well as additional mathematic representations.

PA Standards for Geography:
7.1.9.A - Explain geographic tools and their uses.
7.1.9.B - Explain and locate places and regions.
7.2.9.A - Explain the physical characteristics of places and regions including spatial
patterns of Earth’s physical systems.

PA Standards for Mathematics:
2.3.8.A - Develop formulas and procedures for determining measurements (e.g., area, volume, distance).
2.3.8.F - Use scale measurements to interpret maps or drawings.
2.8.8.G - Represent relationships with tables or graphs in the coordinate plane and verbal or symbolic rules.

ISTE/NETS Standards:
ISTE Standard 2 – Communication and Collaboration - Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
ISTE Standard 3 – Research and Information Fluency - Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
ISTE Standard 6 – Technology Operations and Concepts - Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.