5 class periods of 45 minutes each
- Thinking & Reasoning
- Social & Civic Responsibility
This lesson shows how to use GPS and mapping skills to make exercise areas in your community. These can include walking, riding, and biking trails.
2-5 GPS units, ARC GIS (free mapping software for educators).
Background for Teachers
Teachers need to know how to use the "trails" feature of a GPS unit. It is very simple to use. They also need to know how to use ARC GIS to show the routes on maps.
Student Prior Knowledge
Students should know how to create routes using the "trails" feature of the GPS. This is a 10-minute lesson. If you want them to plot the routes on the map, a series of lessons on ARC GIS would be needed in the lab.
Intended Learning Outcomes
Students will gain an appreciation of exercise and healthy activities. They will also understand the value of helping the community.
This project was inspired by the Gold Medal School initiative.
- It is important that the students understand the importance of healthy living and the role of exercise. Lesson(s) should be taught prior to the project to help them understand the many benefits of healthy living.
- Using a map of the community, have the students pick 5-10 possible routes that students/community members could use for walking, running, or biking.
- Teach the students how to use the "tracking" function of the GPS units.
- Send small groups (with one adult in each) to walk/ride the routes. Save the routes to the GPS unit. Mark any mean dogs, or other obstacles they might encounter.
- Gather the units and connect to the computer via their cables. Depending on time allowances, either the students or the teacher will use ARC GIS to mark the routes on the map. Mark and show photos of any dangerous spots. Use a key and different colors/symbols to distinguish between routes best for walking, running, or biking. Show the total distance of each for reference.
- Print off copies to share with the school, as well as the community. 7. Use the routes as alternatives to games during PE, and break.
Strategies for Diverse Learners
Gifted students can be taught the power of the ARC GIS program and how to use it to gather data about the world around us.
Special needs kids can just walk the unit through the routes, and still help with the project.