Objective: Students will learn about and use GPS technology to find and answer climate change-related questions and discuss nature-based solutions.
This exercise has been designed to integrate with Manitoba curriculum outcomes for grades 7, 10 and 12. However, it can be adapted for all ages. Visit our curriculum connections page for specific, identified skills which can be developed using this lesson plan.
- Students learn how to use GPS technology
- Students will be able to use scientific vocabulary to describe natural observations
- Students understand the consequences of human-caused climate change
- Students understand nature-based and other solutions to climate change
- GPS Scavenger Hunt
- Geocaching Class - Learning Geocaching in School
- The beginner's guide to GPS
- NASA Climate Change Resources for Educators
- WWF: Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change
- Lined paper
- Five GPS units (example here)
Time: 60 minutes
- Introduce the boreal forest in the context of science and/or social studies curriculum
- Introduce the basics on climate change and nature-based solutions for climate action
- Prepare your GPS waypoints in advance, hiding 10 boxes with climate change-related questions inside (see list of questions below)
- Introduce students to GPS technology and how to use the GPS units for their activity (geocaching)
- Break students into five groups and provide them with clipboards, lined paper, pencils, and one GPS unit/group
- Have students work together to use the GPS units to find way points in the local environment; upon arrival they must find a hidden box with questions inside to answer together; here are example questions you could use:
- What is the greenhouse effect?
- What are four greenhouse gases?
- Why is it a problem if the Earth's average temperature gets a little warmer?
- Historically, the earth’s climate has changed before. What's different about climate change today?
- What is the difference between weather and climate?
- Is climate change the same thing as global warming? Why or why not?
- Where have some of the strongest and earliest impacts of global warming occurred?
- In your opinion, what are the most visible signs of climate change?
- Why is deforestation contributing to climate change?
- How are our food systems contributing to climate change?
- What are three ways Manitoba’s boreal forest is mitigating climate change?
- How does climate change impact plants and animals?
- In your opinion, what are three ways we can mitigate climate change?
- How does the conservation of natural areas mitigate climate change?
- How has climate change impacted biodiversity?
- Are people experiencing climate change equally around the world? Explain.
- How is climate change impacting the boreal forest?
- How is climate change impacting indigenous peoples?
- Go over and discuss the answers to the questions as an entire class; Have students share their experiences using GPS for this exercise and discuss how GPS is used in research.
Evaluate individual students based on their participation and collaboration, or have peers evaluate the members in their group on their contributions to the group.
For extended engagement, start a climate change action project for your class to conduct at their school (school community clean-up, set-up a compost bin, tree planting, plant a pollinator garden, litterless lunches, plastic-free classrooms, etc.).
For continued learning, introduce students to mapping with ArcGIS.