Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Google Maps for Storytelling

Mr. Burns' 5th grade class has started using Google Maps to trace the journey of a character in their book.  Using place markers, images and video, students have identified elements of the setting, events in the character's life, and details about her character.  They are also starting to add trails to their maps that show how these places and events are connected.  What a great way to encourage your students to analyze important elements in a story and make connections.

When talking to these students, I was the most impressed that when I asked them a question, they picked up their text to refer to elements in the story.  As a former English teacher, I was ecstatic that they were already understanding how important it is to refer back to the text to illustrate a point.  When talking to me about this project, Mr. Burns commented that he was excited to see how comfortable students were sharing and explaining their maps.  As we start shifting to the Common Core Standards and Speaking and Listening Standards become an emphasized focus, projects like this one, where we empower our students to create their own representations of their learning, provide our students with avenues to practice and polish these skills, and maybe have a little fun, too.

Check out these students at work.

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