About Globetracker's Mission, 2015-2016 Edition
Globetracker’s Mission, an episodic story in blog-style format, takes students in grades 2-6 on a journey across the United States to learn standards-based geography, landforms, and map skills in an engaging, interactive context.
In each weekly episode, Geo and Meri—fictitious brother and sister techno-savvy teens—share new projector- or whiteboard-ready posts about their travels on a secret mission to find Louie, the missing mapmaker. Each episode includes annotated vocabulary terms and interactive maps for practicing map skills or answering think-aloud questions the teens pose as they use today’s tools: text messaging, cell phones, and blog-posting. Readers vote at the conclusion of each post, telling Geo and Meri what to do next.
The first Globetracker's Mission took place during the 2007-2008 school year. It garnered positive responses from teachers and many requests that we run a mission focused on North America, primarily the U.S. TeachersFirst launched a new, North America mission in 2009-2010. Since then, we have alternated years between the global and North American missions. The 2015-16 North American mission will run from October, 2015, through late April, 2016. Review activities will be available around mid-mission and remain online through the end of June, 2016.
Geo and Meri's travels center primarily in the United States this time, still following reader votes to determine the next step each week. Over the course of seven months, classes using Globetracker’s Mission visit all regions of the United States and experience them through the thoughts and “snapshots” of Geo and Meri. We invite you to read and participate in their “blog” by voting each week.
Classrooms equipped with free Google Earth™ software can tour each step of the Mission using the Google Earth™ placemarker files that are available at the top of each episode. Teacher materials include extensive ideas for implementing Globetracker’s Mission as an engaging alternative to “old world” geography textbooks and worksheets. The carefully scaffolded content revisits and builds upon the standards-based concepts throughout the Mission. Teaching materials include review activities in both printable and interactive Flash format (ideal for an interactive whiteboard) and open-ended review and reflection questions for students to extend their understanding of geography.
- Classes with access to Twitter can also "follow" Geo and Meri's microblogging posts @geoandmeri. If you know how to tweet a message using Twitter, your class can even send them a question. Of course, Geo and Meri MAY be too busy to respond right away! (Shhh. Don't tell little sister Pandora about this, or she will torment Geo and Meri with tweets). Read more about Twitter on our tech info page.
- Encourage students to read their choice of books from our CurriConnects Book List of USA Regional Books.
If you are a teacher, click here to learn more about ways you and your class can join in the “Mission,” what students will learn, and standards Geo and Meri will address along the way.
If you are a parent who would like to know more about ways you can participate in the “Mission” at home, click here.
Globetracker’s Mission is produced by TeachersFirst, a free, ad-free service of The Source for Learning, a non-profit educational technologies company.
To learn more about TeachersFirst's “mission,” click here.