Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CES: Make Way for Google Earth!

Yesterday morning, Jenn Dunn, 1st grade teacher at CES, read Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey to her class.

In the afternoon she took her class on a virtual field trip using Google Earth (a free Google program pre-loaded on every computer in our schools) and a special KHZ-Google Earth file that she pre-downloaded from the Google Lit Trips website. (Next week at CMS in the LMC on Jan. 14 from 4-5 there is a webinar on this topic.)

Students were totally engaged and participating in discussion during the 20 minute exploration of Boston, following the path (shown below) taken by the ducklings. They were able to zoom in on specific locations such as the State House, Charles River bridge, and Beacon Hill, and view actual images of these locations.

Jenn Dunn has been using Google Earth in her classroom for the past two school years at least 1-3 times per week. At the 2008 Summer ITL Institute Jenn taught all participants how to use some of the features of Google Earth in the classroom.

Jenn Dunn's objectives for this Social Studies and Literature activity included:

Social Studies: Map and Globe Orientation
1. Understand the difference between a map and globe.
2. Distinguish between land and water on a world map and globe.
3. Develop a sense of near and far distance.

Social Studies: Direction

1. Use the following words correctly dealing with direction: left-right, toward-away, across-around.

Social Studies: Scale
1. Describe the distance of objects in the environment by using the following words: closer-farther, near and far

Social Studies: Symbols
1. Understand that real objects can be represented by pictures or symbols on a map.

ITL Skills
1. Interact with information in a source
2. Use questions to guide research
3. Skim and scan for information
4. Use pre-selected sites and software related to the curriculum
5. Use software programs to express ideas and to solve problems
6. Use technology to demonstrate learning

1 comment:

  1. It was amazing to see how engaged the first graders were during this lesson. The use of Google Earth brought the story to life for the students. One student commented, "I can find Boston on Google Maps, too. I do it at home!" It was interesting to hear how students as young as first grade are using these technologies in their lives. I think it's important that we continue to incorporate them into their school lives, too. Great work, Jenn!