Lost At Sea

Camille Holmgren
Buffalo State College
Author Profile

  1. This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection

    Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are

    • Scientific Accuracy
    • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
    • Pedagogic Effectiveness
    • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
    • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

    For more information about the peer review process itself, please see https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/activity_review.html.

  2. This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: May 25, 2008


Students work as teams to "sail" around the North Atlantic using their knowledge of latitude, longitude, time, winds, and ocean currents to complete the voyage.

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introductory physical geography or oceanography (used in our World Natural Environments course - see course profile).

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

latitude and longitude, relationship between longitude and time, seasons and solar declination, global wind systems, and ocean currents

How the activity is situated in the course

stand-alone activity that draws on concepts from prior exercises


Content/concepts goals for this activity

concepts include latitude, longitude and time, seasons, global winds, and ocean currents

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

students must apply concepts to solve problems

Other skills goals for this activity

working in groups

Description of the activity/assignment

Preparation for this activity involves background lectures, readings, and prior exercises related to latitude, longitude, the relationship between longitude and time, seasons and solar declination, global atmospheric circulation, and global currents. In class, students work in small groups to complete a "voyage" around the North Atlantic Ocean using their prior knowledge, maps of winds and currents from their text, their notes, and a globe. This activity gives students practice using maps, discerning latitude and longitude using time and seasonal information, and using characteristics of global winds and currents to find their location.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students turn in worksheets with answers to the problem set.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

This activity was modified from an exercise designed by oceanography faculty at the University of Arizona