Grades9 to 12
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Useful for either teachers or students, Shmoop is a virtual cram session on a variety of topics. In this history section, choose a time period and you get a tabbed ...more
Useful for either teachers or students, Shmoop is a virtual cram session on a variety of topics. In this history section, choose a time period and you get a tabbed overview of the era including a quick review, a more in-depth coverage, a timeline, important people, fun facts, web links, and a test review. There are featured stories, Hot Topics, and study guides. It's all written in a breezy, accessible style that students will appreciate, but it's not superficial.
In the ClassroomStudents will love this site for reviewing and preparing for exams. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Take advantage of the FREE study guides. Why not have cooperative learning groups investigate specific topics relative to your current unit of study and create multimedia presentation. Create podcasts, using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have students create a Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report about the event or topic. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Teachers can also use this site to differentiate between the typical lectures used to teach a US history project. Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing any one of the topics offered. Select 10-15 of the more powerful and diverse images, hanging them up in different locations around your classroom. Have students rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds, jotting down what they observe and infer about each image until the entire class has completed the circuit. After the class is back in their seats, have a class discussion based on what they observed and what this says about the topic.
Grades6 to 12
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This latest redesign of the Lascaux tour offered by the French government takes viewers on a video tour of the famous French caves. As you walk along, pop-ups label the ...more
This latest redesign of the Lascaux tour offered by the French government takes viewers on a video tour of the famous French caves. As you walk along, pop-ups label the drawings being viewed. An outline map on the right lower side of the screen shows the path the "walker" is taking, and also demonstrates where the viewer is at any given part of the tour. In addition to the video walk, information about the caves appears in "Chapters" which students can click on. The original version of this site is in French. The left sidebar offers the options of viewing the site in French, English, German, or Spanish. This link automatically opens to the English version of the site.
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Since many of the functions work on mouse-over -- not click -- you may want to use a human being to operate the actual computer mouse, since many whiteboards do not "know" where you are mousing until you click! Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. This is a great addition to French or Art class. Challenge students in your class to narrate an image orally in French as they present it on the big screen or have them create their own narrated "cave paintings" using a tool such as ThingLink, reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
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This website is a source of free, downloadable documentaries. It is a nonprofit site. The site explains, "you can stream interesting and provocative documentary films for free!" Teachers...more
This website is a source of free, downloadable documentaries. It is a nonprofit site. The site explains, "you can stream interesting and provocative documentary films for free!" Teachers will want to preview before you share with your class simply because of what "provocative" could mean. Most films are full length, but some are short. There is a helpful menu of topics on the right hand side of the computer screen. This menu makes it easy to navigate and find the type of documentary that is needed. Documentaries range from 9/11 and the London Bombing to The Road to Guantanamo to The Panama Deception to many others.
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. View clips relevant to your topics of study. Use this website to contrast a documentary with the facts that are being taught. Use this site as a point-counterpoint to other perspectives available on the web as part of a discussion of bias. Compare and contrast analysis of the materials versus the known facts is one good use for this website. A short documentary could be shown during class as a launch point for students to create their own documentary style video projects. Share the videos using a site such as Teachers.TV (explained here). Teachers of gifted and high achievers will great possibilities for challenging critical thinking using this site.
Grades2 to 10
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This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks,...more
This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks, religions, customs, organizations, and art. Specific links include "I" Kids, "I" Share, "I" Shop, "I" Learn, "I" Craft, and "I" Play. One fun part is finding out how speakers of different languages think animals sound. What is "meow" in an Asian language, for example? Sound files give examples of the sounds of many languages, as well. Some of the links are slow to open at times, so you may want to open them before you are ready to use them in class.
In the ClassroomUse parts of this site when doing units on prejudice, diversity, and discrimination. Refer students to do research in some of the books listed here on those subjects. Have students interview people from other cultures to check the information given here on aspects of their cultures. Do they agree with what is said here? Even younger students will enjoy learning about flags and peace symbols. Make the craft links available for students doing reports on different countries or preparing for an International Day. Have students copy flags or other country symbols. Ask them to create their own "country" from these models. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific topic at this site and prepare a podcast to share with the class using PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Grades1 to 12
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This website is dedicated to delivering a variety of virtual field trips. The trips are listed by content. Each trip contains objectives, concepts, and terms to know. There are lesson...more
This website is dedicated to delivering a variety of virtual field trips. The trips are listed by content. Each trip contains objectives, concepts, and terms to know. There are lesson plans linked in the Teacher Resource section of the page, and extra information on the topic. The trips themselves are a lot like guided web quests. The websites that are used in the field trips show good variety. And standards are even provided! The trips include grade levels. Examples of topics include hurricanes, dinosaurs, deserts, natural wonders, dark ages, and American Presidency.
In the ClassroomVirtual field trips from this website could be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a whole class activity. A better use could be to create a question sheet that mirrors the trip and have students work through the field trip at their own pace in lab, either with partners or individually. Follow up by challenging student groups to create an interactive guidebook to their topic using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. With younger students, make a class book together.
Grades5 to 12
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Join the movement to urge citizens and lawmakers to take steps to reduce global CO2 levels to the number 350. Click on the "About" tab to learn the science, hear ...more
Join the movement to urge citizens and lawmakers to take steps to reduce global CO2 levels to the number 350. Click on the "About" tab to learn the science, hear about the actions, and view media. Participate in activities such as "Days of Action." Register and sign up for email and text messages. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. IIf you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.Learn from people around the world about how they are spreading the word about climate change.
In the ClassroomView resources from around the world to look at the organized events conducted. Use these ideas to create a local event or identify the ways others have created communities around global climate action. Use information on the site to create Public Service Announcements, newsletters, or blog posts. Invite students to research sites on both sides of the issue, analyze them, and check information for accuracy. Create a blogging challenge or pledge for students to follow for forty days as a way to create change one family at a time. How about creating a 40 day class wiki about 350 and other global climate action? Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades2 to 12
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Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map ...more
Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map with added scribbles and labels. Add your choice of placemarker labels for geology locations, people, etc. There are even little icons available to use. Your drawing or "Scribble Map" is then available to share by URL, email, or print. Slightly more savvy users can download, save as a kml file (readable in Google Maps or Google Earth), or embed the map in another site. The tools include sharing the map on Facebook and Twitter, as well. Add images by pasting in their urls. Drawing tools include lines, circles, place pointers, text labels, and color/size/transparency controls for all tools. Place pointers can be edited by selecting them (arrow tool), then clicking the small pencil. This site does include Google Ads and all the normal controls of Google maps, including satellite, map, terrain, hybrid views and Night Sky. See a sample Scribble Map created by the TeachersFirst editors (drag the map with your mouse!). Explore the tools and MENU options at the top left when you start out. Try the different Maps views (lower right) and zoom controls. Search for a starter location using the search at the top left, just below the tools. There is no help available, but it is easy to do basic maps. Share, save, etc. by clicking Menu (top left). When you first save a map, it will ask you to create a password for that map to use to edit it later. Note that if you SAVE a map and share it by URL, those accessing it will be able to use the tools and change the map. If you want them to see it without changing it, you will need to embed it in a blog, wiki, or other web site. The map ID can be changed and customized by simply typing in your own choice of ID when you are saving the map.
This site includes advertising.
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomStudents and teachers will want to keep a written record or map URLS and passwords for future reference. Model this for students so they do not lose hours of work! Teachers can prepare partially-made maps or maps for students to make corrections and changes by giving the students the URL, then having them SAVE the map with a NEW ID. To SAVE the map with a new name and URL, click "Save map" in the menu, then enter your OWN map ID. Students could use a code including their initials, such as SJ12-3-09 for a map made by Sally Jones on Dec 3, 2009. Teachers should PASSWORD protect their originals so changes can only be saved under a new name. Similarly, if a student saves the map with a map password, they don't have to worry about other students vandalizing their work. But they DO need to remember the password! Wise teachers will keep a class list of maps and passwords for forgetful students! In primary grades, make maps of your local community together on your interactive whiteboard as you teach basic map skills. Create your own "key" with symbols you choose for playgrounds, etc. Have students help map locations of favorite playgrounds, grandparents' houses, stores, etc. as they gain basic understanding of map skills. Make sure you allow students to operate the tools! Save the map and share it as a link from your class web site (or embed it there). Keep names generic so it is "safe." Other ideas to challenge gifted student beyond the curriculum or elevate challenge for small groups include: natural resource maps, immigration maps, maps of civil war battles day by day, maps of key sites in the life of a famous person, artist, or author, maps of the settings in a novel, landform maps of a continent or state, "My life" maps of places important to an elementary student's family, annotated watershed maps of pollution sources, maps of the water cycle, maps of constellations in the night sky created by students to demonstrate understanding, maps of a dream community to be built in a vacant area (desert), including the water sources, etc. that will be needed, maps of a redesigned city/town on top of its current map. Teachers can provide map challenges or templates to be completed or corrected, including maps where students must label distances and cardinal directions between points (using map scale and skills). Or provide a teacher-created map with labels in the wrong places for students to correct the landforms, resources, etc. What will YOU do with Scribble Maps?
GradesK to 8
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View one minute wonders to learn great facts about a variety of science and social studies topics. There were 13 topics at the time of this review. Learn about a ...more
View one minute wonders to learn great facts about a variety of science and social studies topics. There were 13 topics at the time of this review. Learn about a Northern Oriole that can eat 17 caterpillars in a minute, music in the 16th century, or vehicles in the world. Videos are entertaining and sure to capture student attention. After viewing videos, click on quizzes to check understanding.
In the ClassroomUse these minute-length videos to introduce a topic on your interactive whiteboard or projector. These would also make a great introduction to writing prompts or blog posts. Consider using these as examples for one minute projects for students to demonstrate understanding for any topic or content area (and make accompanying quizzes for their peers to try). Have cooperative learning groups view videos of their choice and add their findings to your class "One Minute Wonder Wiki." Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. In lower grades, have students plan and act out their own one minute wonder plays to explain something they have learned or simply share the videos as humorous but accurate portrayals of science topics. American students will need to grow accustomed to the British accents.
Grades9 to 12
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Global Issues are on the minds of students and are applicable in a variety of different classes. Use this site to find articles (frequently updated) on and related topics. Pages ...more
Global Issues are on the minds of students and are applicable in a variety of different classes. Use this site to find articles (frequently updated) on and related topics. Pages can be printed or emailed/bookmarked to another who is interested. Use an RSS feed to stay up to date on changes to the site. Though many of the articles are written by the site owner, the articles have extensive facts, graphs, links, and charts.
tag(s): news (260)
In the ClassroomUse this site to raise awareness of global issues or as material to teach critical research or expository writing. Students can research other sources for information to verify or debunk the material in the article. Students can analyze information from various sources for bias and use of facts. Have students use this as one of several sources for support in persuasive essays or letters to the editor. Use the articles to practice important reading skills, such as main idea or summarizing, marking up the article on interactive whiteboard. Students can also post findings, viewpoints, and solutions onto a personal or class blog. Have cooperative learning groups choose a topic to research and become "experts" about. Have the groups create multimedia presentations to share with the rest of the class. Have students create a multimedia presentation using ThingLink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a related photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Have students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map (with audio) where the global issues are taking place. Another option, have students create videos and share them on a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
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Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you ...more
Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you can't find one, make your OWN ONLINE word search. What a fantastic tool to use and/or create in any subject!
In the ClassroomShare the relevant word searches on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups practice spelling or vocabulary words by creating their own word search. List this site on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. This is a great one for those word search lovers in your class. Why not have students use a whole-class account to make their own word searches to challenge each other with new vocabulary and terms?
GradesK to 10
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This website (originally created for the 2004 Olympics, and updated in 2008and 2010) offers a great deal of information on the Olympics. Specific highlights include "In my Backyard,"...more
This website (originally created for the 2004 Olympics, and updated in 2008and 2010) offers a great deal of information on the Olympics. Specific highlights include "In my Backyard," "History of the Games," "More to Explore," and "Get in the Game." There are also links to a Teachers Guide (with lesson plans for grades K-10 and standards), related booklists, interactive activities, and more. Although this site is slightly dated, it does contain some excellent information on the origin and history of the Olympics. Also, the "In The News" section is no longer updated.
In the ClassroomIf you are bringing the Olympics into your classroom, incorporate the many ideas at this website into your lessons. There are lesson plans ready to go (and divided by grade level). Try the interactive "It's All Greek To Me" together on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about the history of the Olympics, politics and the Olympics, and other pertinent topics.
Grades2 to 12
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Follow the United States Olympic athletes at this interactive website. Find out current news about the athletes, read biographical information, read the athlete's blogs, watch video...more
Follow the United States Olympic athletes at this interactive website. Find out current news about the athletes, read biographical information, read the athlete's blogs, watch video clips, explore the articles, and more. Click on "Resources" and then "U.S. Olympic Education" to find some lesson ideas to use in your classroom. There are some minor advertisements at this website.
In the ClassroomUse this site to research American athletes. Share the video clips, read the blogs, and view the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Don't miss the lesson ideas (in the "Resources" section). Share this site on your class website, so families can follow the U.S. Olympians.
Grades4 to 10
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for the Olympics. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Olympics-related...more
As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for the Olympics. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Olympics-related vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.
In the ClassroomShare the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."
Grades4 to 12
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Many museum sites are little more than a set of on-line directions to get to the brick-and-mortar museum and a few promotional photographs. This site, however, is designed to be ...more
Many museum sites are little more than a set of on-line directions to get to the brick-and-mortar museum and a few promotional photographs. This site, however, is designed to be used as an online museum. You can start by searching the museum by geographic location or keyword. You can also search by time period from the "Teaching Kit" area. Or click on one of the featured exhibits which range from excavations of the CSS Alabama, the remains of an 18th century fleet sunk in New York's Lake George, to the HMS Serapis. A link to a "teachers' kit" gives information about ordering (free with the exception of shipping costs) a hands-on set of materials to keep and get free updates for as long as they would like to use it. For younger students, there is a slide show that introduces the concepts of underwater archaeology in an interactive whiteboard-friendly format (see featured exhibit: A Children's Introduction).
tag(s): oceans (166)
In the ClassroomWho isn't fascinated by treasure buried under the seas? This site will help you sneak in history lessons by engaging students in the process of underwater archaeology. The site also makes a strong effort to integrate various curriculum areas from art to biology along with the historical importance of various excavations. Students might also want to follow one of the underwater blogs with information about ongoing projects. Have cooperative learning groups create a multimedia project related to one of the blog stories. For visual students, use an online poster creator such as Padlet, reviewed here. Have students use a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.
Grades7 to 12
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This site details the life and many attempted voyages of the English explorer Henry Hudson. Although the site is very "wordy," it is very inclusive and excellent for research. It ...more
This site details the life and many attempted voyages of the English explorer Henry Hudson. Although the site is very "wordy," it is very inclusive and excellent for research. It includes a lot of facts, maps, information about each voyage, information about nautical measurements, and details about his ships and crews. The information and maps available here are based on the author combing historical books and documents and information. An extensive bibliography and list of weblinks relating to Hudson adds interest to the maps and history on the site.
In the ClassroomHave the students make a cumulative map of all Hudson's voyages together in order for them to get a chance to become intimately familiar with the map making process. Try a site such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location on a map where each story takes place. Have each cooperative learning group focus on a different exploration. Compare their creations with the online map which has all four voyages combined. Assign students in a group each a few pages of an imagined journal Henry might have written on each voyage. The most interesting part will be to imagine what happened to him after people no longer heard from him! Use this site as the starting point for individual research papers. Encourage students to find other resources that contribute to their knowledge of Henry Hudson. Have students write a talk Hudson might give if he suddenly woke up today (like Rip Van Winkle). Or make it more Web 2.0 and have students write blog entries. The text passages on this site are also ideal for reading comprehension practice. Project them on an interactive whiteboard for practice in main idea, summarizing, and more.
Grades4 to 10
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This collection of pdf lesson plans centers around 3 main topics: how we get our food, what the Fair Trade movement is doing for farmers and eaters, and what coops ...more
This collection of pdf lesson plans centers around 3 main topics: how we get our food, what the Fair Trade movement is doing for farmers and eaters, and what coops are. The complete curriculum is downloadable and printable, and the daily lessons at this site offer support and extra activities. One lesson, translated for Spanish teachers, offers students an activity so they can understand "What's Fair?" One of the most exciting parts of the website is a collection of videos of Dominican children talking in Spanish about cocoa production! The lesson plans include a variety of activities for students and include projects in math, writing, civics, research, geography, art, music, and international culture.
tag(s): air (145)
In the ClassroomUse these lessons as part of a unit in social studies, Family and Consumer Science, or several other subjects. Take your students on a visit to a local food coop or invite one of their members to speak to your class live or via Skype (explained here.). Have students do a project comparing coop grocery sales with the more commercial establishments. Maybe even have student groups create an online Venn Diagram comparing the two using a site such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). If you have international students from the Dominican Republic or other cocoa producing countries, share this site with them and allow them to compare what the students say on the video to their own experiences. Create your own videotaped interviews with food growers or their families. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
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View interesting graphics of data that students will find fascinating. Search visuals in subjects such as Art, Biology, Food Webs, Music, and more. Each visualization has a project...more
View interesting graphics of data that students will find fascinating. Search visuals in subjects such as Art, Biology, Food Webs, Music, and more. Each visualization has a project description, link, and other information. Caution students that ads appear on pages and these should be avoided.
In the ClassroomShare the graphics on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use data visualizations to ask questions about interactions among the parts shown. For example, use any of the food chain visualizations to look at the interactions in the chains and identify roles of organisms. Ask students to use the whiteboard tools to explain how the visual "shows" the underlying information. Be prepared for less visual students to struggle while more visual students thrive using such a tool. Share the interesting map graphics in geography class. Use this at the beginning of a discussion and identify the organisms in the chain to uncover the relationships. Use the graphics for creative writing projects (displaying the graphic on a whiteboard while students react in writing). Ask your gifted students to choose a graphic they particularly enjoy as an inspiration to create one of their own.
Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This teacher-created wiki supplements it with Google Earth Resources galore. Find links to lesson plans and files for using Google Earth in your classroom for many subjects. See a tutorial video on Google Earth, find directions for making files, and more. Ideas for using Google Earth by subject even include links to ready-made files so you need not start out by creating from scratch. See what other teachers have done and let it inspire you and your students to do more. Learn how to make kmz (placemarker) files.
In the ClassroomMake this site part of your personal professional development or pair up with a teaching buddy to learn more about Google Earth (GE) and plan activities for your classrooms. Share the link with your students, as well, so your class can become GE experts together. Even if your access to GE is limited to a single class computer, work together with a small team of student "GEniuses" to prepare class placemarker files, then have the team teach other students, as well. If your school has personal professional development plans or allows teacher to suggest topics for professional workshops, include this link, along with other GE resources from TeachersFirst, as your inservice day agenda.
Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This participatory wiki (part of the larger "Teaching Hacks" wiki) walks educators step by step through the how-to and why-to of Google Earth (GE). Start with the two minute video, then click through the steps at the right. You are also invited to ADD to the wiki so other teachers can learn from you! The wiki includes curriculum ideas grade by grade (listed in text form). Since the wiki originated in the Toronto area, some topics are Canadian-only, but the wiki is open to all global learners and teachers.
In the ClassroomPlan your personal professional development on your own or with a teaching buddy to learn more about Google Earth (GE) and plan activities for your classrooms. Even if your access to GE is limited to a single class computer, work together with a small team of student "GEniuses" to prepare class placemarker files, then have the team teach other students, as well. If your school has personal professional development plans or allows teachers to suggest topics for professional workshops, include this link, along with other GE resources from TeachersFirst, as your inservice day agenda.
GradesK to 12
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Bring the world into your classroom with Google Earth. This interactive view of the Earth (and more) is available on all web browsers. Find landforms, geographic locations features,...more
Bring the world into your classroom with Google Earth. This interactive view of the Earth (and more) is available on all web browsers. Find landforms, geographic locations features, pictures, and more from around the world using this satellite-powered software. As you spin the globe, you can tilt to view locations at an angle to show elevation, click to play a "tour" or "fly" from one location to another, or simply open tours and placemarker files created by others. Once you are comfortable, try making tours and placemarkers of your own.
In the ClassroomUse tutorials from this site to learn more, or try some Google Earth files from TeachersFirst's Globetracker's Mission to get a taste of what the program can do. Get started by exploring the different LAYERS available in the left side and searching a location you know. Locate and try the tools to drag, tilt, zoom, and even measure distance. Extensive user forums are available through the help menus.
Placemarker files created by you "live" on the computer where you make or save them and are not shared on the web. Note that your computer will ask whether you wish to save your "temporary places" (any places you have marked during a session) each time you close Google Earth. If many students use that computer, you may find you have a disorganized mess of saved places. Be sure to direct students to either name their saved places logically and file them into folders or NOT to save them to My Places! Students and teachers can create placemarker (.kmz or .kml) files and share them as email attachments, files on a USB "stick," or any other means you would use to share a file, just like a Word document.
Another practical tip: if students are using Google Earth on several machines at the same time, you may put a heavy load on your school network. Plan accordingly, perhaps having groups alternate their Google Earth time if it becomes sluggish.
Use Google Earth to teach geography or simply give location context to class readings or current events, especially on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ex. you can tilt to show the peaks scaled by Lewis and Clark or volcanoes that rise in the Aleutians. Have students show the locations of historic events or literary settings and create placemarkers with links to learn more. Placemarker text is editable by going to the placemarker's "properties" or "info," so students can enter the text description, place title, and any inks they want to include, such as a link to a certain passage of text, an image of a character, or news image/article for a current events map. Students who know html code can get even more sophisticated in what they include in placemarkers. Have students/groups create and play a "tour" of critical locations for global warming, a comparison of volcanoes, or a family history of immigration. Navigate the important locations in a work of literature using Google Lit Trips or search the web for placemarker files connected to civil war battles, natural resources, and more. Turn layers on and off to look at population centers and transportation systems. Teach the concept of scale/proportion using a tactile experience on an interactive whiteboard and the scale and measurement tools. See more ideas at the teacher-created Google Earth 101 wiki reviewed here. Even if you do not venture into creating your own placemarker files, there are many already made and available for use by teachers and students. TeachersFirst's Globetracker's Mission includes a weekly file to follow the Mission.