Leaf Our Trees Alone!

 In Geocaching for Schools

Leaf Our Trees Alone!

The ‘LOTA’ geocache was placed in a location that had recently undergone tree felling. The aim of the outdoor activities in the cache was to guide learners to think about how this particular tree felling event will affect the local wildlife, specifically mallard ducks, at the loch and making this geocache place-specific. The geocache location was just north of the boat house along the paths near the shore.

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*This geocache is temporary waymarked and will therefore not be available on geocaching.com


Learning Objectives

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This geocache aims to inform pupils about the effects of tree felling on the local environment and wildlife.  This should lead them to question what they can do to prevent these negative effects and make them aware of the consequences, and conscious of the need for local and global sustainability.


What to Do

The activities were specifically designed to engage the pupils with the recent felling event that occurred on that site, inviting them to investigate scientific concepts such as what do organisms need to survive and what effect does this tree felling have on local and global species.

Both the pupils and the teacher/leader are given a guide. This encourages questioning to promote a deeper understanding of the geocaches scientific concepts and promotes higher order thinking.

Activity One: Spot the Difference

The first activity encourages the pupils to focus on this specific location and identify what has changed between the photograph in the past and the present. The pupils are encouraged to find and search for changes in the site, circling changes on their photo for their distinct location.


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Regrouping, pupils were encouraged to discuss what they had discovered. This highlighted the trees and hedges had been removed and learners were encouraged to think of reasons for this.


Activity Two: Mallard Duck

After a quick investigation into what a mallard duck needs to live, using the fact file, the pupils identified that it was important for a duck to build a nest that is sheltered by trees and near the water for food. In groups, pupils will be encouraged to roleplay being ducks and find a suitable spot for a nest that meets all their requirements to survive. Learners witnessed that ducks would find it difficult to nest in cleared areas.


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The pupils then discussed the possible effects that the tree felling will have on the other wildlife on campus and humans. These ideas can then be developed to think about what this will mean for the sustainability of the duck and other effected species on a global scale and they developed a sound understanding for the importance of the vegetation.

Extensions – we included other activities for back in class.



Links to Curriculum for Excellence Experience & Outcomes

Through carrying out practical activities and investigations, I can show how plants have benefited society. 

SCN 2-02b

I can discuss the environmental impact of human activity and suggest ways in which we can live in a more environmentally- responsible way. 

SOC 2-08a

Through carrying out practical activities and investigations, I can show how plants have benefited society.

SCN 2-02b

I have collaborated on investigations into the process of photosynthesis and I can demonstrate my understanding of why plants are vital to sustaining life on Earth.

SCN 3-02a

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By Ruth Wilson & Jodie Lang   (3rd Yr University of Stirling – Primary Education),  Stephen Wilson  (3rd Yr Heritage BA)

This geocache was a temporary way-marked cache – it will not be available on geocaching.com

Thanks to Ms Westmoreland and all the pupils from Cowie Primary School who came along to help us trial these. We had a great day with you all.

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