SCHOOLS & AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Are you a teacher or coach in Massachusetts who would like to bring orienteering to your classroom? We'd love to help! Orienteering provides many opportunities for students to move around, work as individual or in groups, and apply their minds to solve creative problems. Those are just a few of the many benefits children experience through participation in orienteering.
Navigation Games has partnered with teachers from several schools in Massachusetts to provide thorough, detailed, and immersive orienteering lesson plans for all ages.
These lessons and activities are designed to teach map reading, spatial awareness, spatial relationships, and other skills to students in grades K-5. It is important to remember that children undergo many physical, mental, and emotional changes throughout these years. A student in 5th grade is much more physically and mentally developed than a student entering Kindergarten. Our activities are designed to practice orienteering skills through games that are both simple and fun. While many of the games will be a challenging for kindergartners, they are still fun and engaging activities for students up through 5th grade. The pace and content should be adjusted to match the children's level. In some activities, students who have achieved master of the skill can become helpers who teach other students, until the entire class has mastered the activity.
Keep them moving!
Students spend most of their days at school, sitting at desks, listening to teachers, and learning. By the end of the day, few students are eager to sit down and listen. This provides a difficult challenge for teaching new activities. We recommend starting out every class with a highly active warm-up game. In the lessons below, we provide many suggestions. Teachers may choose to play the same one or two active games at the beginning of each class. Playing the same warm-up game each time can be a great way to establish consistency, while at the same time providing the students with a chance to run around and get their jigglies out. Copycat, (Active) Simon Says, and (Active) I Spy are excellent options to use every week.
Give the students choices so they feel in control and are more engaged. Strive to have the students understand and want to achieve their learning goals so they make choices that further their progress toward those goals. There are many ways students can be given agency. Look for opportunities to give the children choices throughout the lesson. At the end of the class, they may decide between warm-up activities for the next class. Choice may be used as a reward: if the students are well-behaved, respectful, are listening, and finish the main activity early as a result, then they can have time at the end of class to decide which games or activities they would like to play. You may give them a list of options, or just provide them free play time.