As the author of BOB AND JOSS GET LOST! I’ll admit that it’s a pretty silly book, chock full of jokes about two buddies who get shipwrecked. But it’s also full of teachable moments. Especially about geography and mapping.
One feature of the book in particular can be used to teach kids about latitude and longitude coordinates.Sharp-eyed readers will notice that at the top of most pages there are GPS location coordinates. In fact, if you are very curious you will discover that these are real locations and you can track Bob and Joss’s journey. I won’t say where.
I’ve found that kids are eager to learn more about mapping and latitude and longitude. It’s all new to them! Here are a few fun ways to take the discussion even further, whether in a classroom or home.
Discover Bob and Joss’s location
Start by opening Google maps or another mapping app and search for the coordinates in the book. A pin will show the exact location on the globe! Keep going with the next set of coordinates and so on and you can track where Bob and Joss end up. Turn on satellite view to get a birds-eye view or street view to get a human-eye view.
Where are you?
Another fun activity is to find the exact coordinates of your school or home. Search for your address then right click and select “What’s here?” to reveal the latitude and longitude. Compare the numbers with Bob and Joss’s location and note the differences.
GPS Scavenger hunt
And if you want to get really serious you could turn it into a scavenger hunt. Download my list of mystery coordinates here and figure out which famous landmarks are located there! And, of course, you can always make up your own list.
In BOB AND JOSS GET LOST! and the upcoming BOB AND JOSS TAKE A HIKE! the characters know just how fun it can be to get lost. And with little help from mapping apps you can have fun getting found, too.
BOB AND JOSS GET LOST! Giveaway
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Peter McCleery is the author of the hilarious Bob and Joss series of children’s books, Bob and Joss Get Lost! and Bob and Joss Take a Hike! (coming in Jan. 2018). He lives with his wife and two children in Portland, Oregon where he occasionally gets lost. His favorite things include kids (and adults) who laugh. He’s also written for Highlights magazine and for grown-ups on the McSweeney’s humor website. You can find him at www.petermccleery.com, on Twitter: @pmccleery and on Facebook: @petermccleeryauthor