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Dr. Christie's GPS and Geocaching Guide for Educators

Curricular Example: Categorizing and Graphing Lesson

Purpose and Goals

Teams of students will use GPS units to locate geocaches that their instructor has hidden around their school campus. Students will return to the classroom with the recovered geocaches, examine and discuss the contents of the geocaches, determine a number of possible ways to categorize the contents of each geocache, and then use Excel™ to create spreadsheets and graphs that represent the categorized data. The contents of each geocache can be sorted in two or more ways. Link to pictures of graduate students completing this lesson.

Geocache Contents

Practice Cache (for all teams)

  • Black and Red Checker Pieces
  • Black and Ivory Chess Pieces

Orange Team

  • Wooden building blocks in 4 colors & 6 shapes (shown above)
  • Balloons in many colors and sizes (shown above)
  • Metal nails of various functions and lengths

Pink Team

  • Multicolored zip ties of two sizes
  • Multicolored, multi-textured hair bands
  • Paper clips in 8 colors and 2 sizes

Blue Team

  • Polished stones in black, brown, tan, cream, etc.
  • Plastic numbers in six colors
  • Wooden sticks in two colors and two sizes

Yellow Team

  • Jigsaw puzzle pieces of various shapes/sizes
  • Cardboard smiley faces in six colors
  • Erasers of various colors and shapes

Representative Graphs of Sorted and Categorized Geocache Contents



Graph 1

Graph 2

Graph 3

Graph 4

Graph 5

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