Thursday, May 20, 2010

Letterbox Field Trip

I discovered Letterboxing last September.  Jack, Josh, and I went on a couple of hunts and found some letterboxes.  I just knew that it was something I wanted to try with my students.  Well, we did it!

Our school is pretty structured and we follow a District Curriculum Map.  Each quarter is dedicated to a different reading and writing genre.  But fourth quarter is the best!  Not only are we done with AIMS (high-stakes state test) but we also get to do research!  My favorite!

I began to think about where we could place our letterbox.  Some place that could be researched and would be educational.  Fort Apache. 

I like to do my research in WebQuest format and have done tons of premade WebQuests.  But, there was no WebQuest on Fort Apache.  So, I created one.  I don't have it hosted on the internet, but I set it up in a PowerPoint format with hyperlinks to the pages I wanted them to read.  They had to go to the sites and fill out a worksheet with questions about the Fort and the museum.  They worked so fast, I had to plan another activity before our field trip.  They eagerly created PowerPoints of their own about the research they had found. 

The next step was to teach them about Letterboxing.  We went through the cool tutorial about it.  We had a design contest for the stamp.  When the winning design was chosen, we made the stamp out of a sponge and bottle cap.  Other students made the journal.  We were all set!

Finally, the day came for us to visit the museum and to plant our letterbox.  We explored the museum for about 2 hours.  They could have stayed longer but we had to get a move on.  I let them explore the Apache Village for a few minutes before we began the letterbox placement. 

We surveyed the land and thought of a good place to hide the letterbox.  Then, we thought of a fun way to map it out.  See, it's no fun to just walk straight to the "treasure".  It's more fun to go to a few places first.  My kids held the compass and counted steps.

I stamped the Fort Apache stamp in Jack and Josh's journal and I stamped Jack and Josh's stamp in the Fort Apache journal.  Then, we hid the box.  You will have to look at the website to find the clues

***If you hunt for the letterbox, please let us know if it is still there and in good shape. 

where Glory meets my suffering