Thursday, August 09, 2007

Trippin' Over Myself

It's August already! Hard to believe that it won't be long before school is in session and I feel like the "to do" list has not gotten any smaller. I'm on a mad mission to conquer Google Earth as a means to link Social Studies and ELA with a frequent visitor to this site. (Hey - you visit and comment once - you're frequent!)

It started with a simple conversation about a visiting author for this spring and the fact that this Super Teacher has already signed her kids up for an essay writing contest around the book Hana's Suitcase. Since the conversation happened in a DBQ development workshop, we starting talking about Google Earth, which let to Google Lit Trips - which led to us creating one (right now - hoping to create one!)on the book.

The plan is to map the locations in the book - with the pushpins pieces to be DBQ like questions. I haven't mastered how it all fits together and it is complicated a bit by the fact that I am blocked from Google Earth at work and too hot and tired when I get home to play too much.

I know I will conquer this because as a teacher in my district shared her plan to read Judy Moody Declares Independence, I was already imagining not just the Lit Trip but how my planned trip to Boston in September could provide a wealth of Flickr activities for her.

I see this as a pretty powerful model to use with kids. Once they have taken a few lit trips - I can imagine them creating their own for the book they are reading. It gives them a global perspective and can help them make powerful connections.

So now I am wondering - what other books might make a good basis for a Lit Trip. What types of questions would teachers want to see at each stop? How can we get around the blocks that many districts have put in place around Google Earth?


Jennifer said...

Very cool! I wonder why IT staff are so worried about Google related sites. What is the reason for blocking them?

A data programmer in a district I work with is messing around with doing a Google Maps mash-up with scale score distribution. I'll let you know how it turns out.

And what's that I read? A reason for you to use Flickr?

Nicole's Wonder Blog said...

August goes by so quickly! Sounds like you are well on your way to planning some great adventures for your students. As far as books go that may make for a great lit. trip I would look into some non-fiction writing. I'm not sure what grade the students are but there's a great book about the US Women's Soccer Team, called All American Girls (probably for students 5-8). Afterwards, you could then take the students to a game. Have fun!