Fitnesscaching – Geocaching in PE (Exploring Alternative Environments)

One of the outcomes of the grade 9 Physical Education Curriculum in Saskatchewan involves alternative environment activities. For this outcome I chose to do geocaching with my students. I wanted them to experience something different that involved teamwork, problem solving, and physical activity. That is how I came up with the idea for “fitnesscaching”. Fitnesscaching is basically geocaching with fitness tasks at each cache. I had multiple caches set up for my students and at each cache they had to complete a fitness task along with a trivial question which was to be answered on their answer sheet. The caches were all set up on school grounds and the fitnesscaching activity was done during 1 class period. We went over geocaching basics and did a few practice activities beforehand to get the students familiar with the GPS devices and the ways of geocaching.

On the day of the activity I had the students split up into pre-determined teams and they all started from the same location which was not too close to any of the caches. They all started with the coordinates to a different cache and would get the next coordinates once they found the cache. While the activity went over very well despite the snow, there are some things I would change for next time…

I would try to make more time for the activity. Possibly by doing more pre-activity work the day before and then beginning right at the bell on the day of.

I would like to do something like this on a bigger scale or in a more diverse area. I think it would be great to do this in a place with more diverse terrain and scenery than our school grounds.

Check out the map below which shows the location of the caches that I planted for the activity. Let me know what you think and feel free to share your stories of geocaching. I am always looking for new ideas and would appreciate any suggestions on how to make this even better for my students!

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7 responses to “Fitnesscaching – Geocaching in PE (Exploring Alternative Environments)

  1. Love it! My students love geocaching – my take on fitness caching – eggsercizes: http://www.trailsoptional.com/2010/04/eggsercizes/

  2. Good job Jordan!

    I don’t know if I told you, but I’m social media coordinator for McGill’s sudent society. One of the things I’m working on right now is a social media treasure hunt. Basically, its going to involve students running around Montreal trying to find QR Codes that will lead them to the next clue. I’m going to use BBM, Foursquare checkins, YouTube videos, and SMS to give them tips and at whoever completes the hunt first wins a prize.

    The reason I’m saying this is because geocaching is basically a treasure hunt with a really cool map.

    Have you thought of maybe offering your fitnesscaching lesson as an extracurricular activity that ran on a larger scale and that used more than just a GPS device? Might be a cool way to get your students active outside of school hours while using the social media tools they love.

  3. mr.mcfarland2

    Jordan, those are things I’m lookin for but doubt we would be able to purchase the gps devices. I currently am using old school map and compass and a few activities. A combination of maps in the gym and outside. Always looking for new ideas. Thanks for your response.

  4. mrmcfarland2

    Jordan, that is some good stuff. I’m always lookin for new ideas. Doubt we can purchase gps. I teach old school map and compass. Couple activities in the gym and a couple outside. Thanks for the response

  5. Jordon, John McFarland again, Would like to more detail on the activities you had the students do when they found the cache. Thanks, workin on a blog for my students its kinda rough at the moment but maybe you would be interested in the MISHN. check it out at http://hpeitmishn.wordpress.com check out the about page and the gym page.

  6. @ Mr. McFarland Sorry for the extremely delayed response! At the cache students were to choose 1 member of their team to perform a fitness task (different person at each cache) while the other students would solve a problem/question/riddle and then record their answer. At the very end they would present me with all of the answers to the questions/problems at each cache. One thing to ensure the fitness activity is performed could be to have them take a picture or video of the task via a mobile device. I took a peak at your blog and it sounds like you are doing some pretty cool things!

  7. I am interested in Geocaching at the 3-6th grade level. Do you have a recommendation on a GPS unit?

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