Travel bugs are a terrific way to give your students a taste of the real world via a "Flat Stanley-ish" experience. If you've never heard of them, take a second and read up on the Travel Bugs FAQ at geocaching.com. Essentially, you can attach these trackable tags to a small object, register it online (a la Webkinz), place it in an existing geocache, and track its traveling progress online. It's very simple and there are plenty of travel bugs that have been touring the globe for a long time. Check out these great bugs that have somewhat of an educational theme:
Last Letter Morphing Bug
Race to Nome
DJ's Algebra TB of Goodness
Feel free to add any more good ones you find in the comments section of this blog!
If you're feeling up to the challenge, why not purchase a travel bug (around $5.99 USD from Groundspeak) and set your students to the task of creating an educational mission for it. You then could use the travel bug to have students collect information (geographical, mathematical, statistical, etc.) as the bug travels. Even if a travel bug is lost or stolen after awhile, the information remains logged on the web so students can continue to view it. Use the graphic organizer below or create your own to help your students brainstorm a unique purpose for their own travel bug!