Foreword Reviews

Orienteering Made Simple and GPS Technology

An Instructional Handbook

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

This educational manual by a teaching professional nicely covers the art of orienteering.

Nancy Kelly’s instructional manual about “orienteering,” which she describes as “a sport that is all about maps,” is ideally suited as an instructional manual for the classroom, but it should be equally useful for youth groups, camps, and even adventurous parents.

The manual is divided into two parts. The first part covers three distinct sections: indoor map skills, outdoor map skills, and using a compass. The sections concerning indoor and outdoor maps include numerous lessons, each spelling out a theme, objective, materials, preparation, activity, and discussion. These lessons seem most appropriate for elementary grades but could certainly be adapted for any age group. The section about using a compass is more advanced—“intermediate orienteering,” as the author calls it. Here, Kelly includes detailed exercises and activities, supplemented with illustrations of compasses and contour maps. This section would probably be more suitable to higher elementary grades or junior high school.

The second part of the manual is a materials supplement, which concentrates on exercises and activities that include the use of GPS technology. While this section obviously requires the instructor to have access to a GPS, it helps the reader envision how GPS technology could be used to enhance learning. Kelly incorporates geocaching, an increasingly popular form of treasure hunting with a GPS, into the lessons in this section. She appends several geocaching worksheets to facilitate specific activities. By incorporating the use of GPS, Kelly acknowledges the influence of technology on modern life and makes the lessons even more relevant to today’s students.

Throughout the manual, the author includes numerous maps, illustrations, and sample materials, some of which an educator could simply copy and utilize in a classroom—a real boon for budget-strapped teachers. Unfortunately, the print quality of a few of the maps is marginal, making them less useful, but most of the materials are reproducible. The book is workbook size, which will prove helpful to teachers, and the cover has an attractive full-color illustration of students conducting orienteering activities.

Kelly writes, “Programs are easily adaptable to a wide variety of grade levels and can be designed to enhance most subject areas.” Still, it would have been beneficial if the author had added age ranges for each of the lessons.

In general, Orienteering Made Simple and GPS Technology is a well constructed and thorough educational tool with clearly defined lessons and activities. As such, it should have considerable value to anyone who wants to teach map-reading and compass skills.

Reviewed by Barry Silverstein

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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