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Teacher Resources

The Arizona Geographic Information Council is pleased to provide classroom-ready, Arizona standards - based GPS lessons for grades K- 12. The lessons were created by Arizona teachers and align to Arizona standards in more than one content area. Click on a title below to access the lesson and all materials needed to teach it.

Using GPS in the Classroom

This PowerPoint, created by an Arizona teacher, gives an introduction to GPS and ideas for using it in the classroom.

GPS in Community Jobs (Grades K - 1)

GPS is used in many jobs. Young children can be introduced to GPS and how it is used in the work place as they learn about jobs in their community. In this lesson, students will learn that GPS is one tool used by some workers in their community. They will learn what some of those jobs are and engage in an activity similar to those workers. (Social Studies, Mathematics)

GPS and the Young Learner (Grades 1 - 3)

Young children are just exploring the world around them. As they develop their spatial thinking skills, it is logical for them to learn how maps portray locations, how symbols are used on maps, and how technology can be used to locate places on maps. This lesson will use GPS units to locate places and have young students practice map making using symbols. They will also be learning to distinguish human features in their world. (Social Studies, Mathematics, Writing)

Exploring My World (Grades 3 - 4)

The skill of observation can be developed in young students. Good observational skills can enhance students’ writing, artwork, storytelling, and map making. In this lesson, students will use a GPS unit to identify the location of physical and human features and then use the data to create a map and a piece of artwork. (Social Studies, The Arts, Technology)

Arizona Copper Mines (Grade 4)

In this lesson, students will engage in a hands-on activity using GPS technology in the context of the Arizona copper industry. By doing so, students will understand the history and importance of the copper industry in Arizona. (Social Studies, Reading, Writing)

A GeoTreasure Hunt!! (Grade 4)

In 2000, Global Positioning Systems, also called GPS was opened to the civilian population. As a result, a hi-tech treasure hunt called "geocaching" was born. A cache is a hidden container with a logbook and possible items inside. Today there are over 544,000 caches world-wide. This lesson will introduce students to GPS technology and give them the opportunity to have hands-on experience geocaching with the use of a GPS receiver. In addition, they will complete a mapping activity with hints found in three caches. (Social Studies, Technology, Writing)

California Gold Rush (Grade 5)

In this lesson, students will engage in a hands-on activity using GPS technology in the context of the California Gold Rush. By doing so, students will understand the role that the Gold Rush played in westward expansion. (Social Studies, Reading, Writing)

A GPS Scavenger Hunt (Grades 6 - 8)

Students enjoy scavenger hunts. By participating in this familiar activity, students can learn about spatial technology and practice using GPS units. In this lesson, students will use GPS units to locate places in their environment and will practice using the correct parts of speech in written sentences. (Social Studies, Writing)

Transect Mapping with GPS (Grade 7)

Transect mapping is a tool used to describe the location and distribution of resources as well as to describe the physical landscape and area uses. The tool involves field observation, discussion, and diagramming. This activity will allow students the opportunity to identify the uses for their campus based on information collected using specified GPS way point coordinates on the transect line. (Social Studies, Science, Writing)

Fun in the Sun with GPS: A Beginner’s On-Campus Adventure (High School )

Constantly changing technology is not only fun to use with friends or family, but knowing how to use it can be beneficial when applying for a job or as a means of professional development. Students should be exposed to current geographic tools and skills to prepare them for careers in scientific, geographic, or educational fields. In this lesson students will gain the knowledge of how to use a personal Global Positioning System receiver (GPSr). Additionally, they will be exposed to various careers that use Global Positioning System (GPS) as a means of collecting data or conducting business. (Social Studies, Workplace Skills)

Do you have a great GPS lesson to share?

The Arizona Geographic Information Council is looking for GPS lessons to add to our current offering of lessons. We will pay $150 for an original, Arizona Standards-based lesson using GPS. For more information, click on Lesson Form below.

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