Sunday, September 21, 2008

A "Novel" way to use Google Earth

So you're doing a novel with your class and you want your students to be more connected to the story and the places mentioned. How can you do this if your students have never been to the country where the action takes place? Not a problem if you use Google Earth.

Use GE to spice up your lesson. (A trip to GoogleLitTrips will show you some of the possibilities.) You can point out the major landmarks featured in the novel. You can calculate distances mentioned by the characters. You can even place "markers" with additional information useful to your readers. Just log in and create your placemarkers and then download the kmz or kml file to share or post on your teacher page. (This link takes you to an explanation of how to do this with the book "Hana's Suitcase". Click on the Quicktime icon to see the video podcast.)

If you are teaching Geography or History, why not use Google Earth to take your students on a virtual fieldtrip. (The Apple Learning Interchange has some great pointers.) Follow Hannibal or Gandhi's march or the Crusades or a WWII battle. Sometimes seeing makes all the difference.