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Lesson Plans: Where Did I Come From?

Students find their country of origin on Google Earth and grab a screen shot of it. Save to their computer. Import it into a drawing program like KidPix and add the country flag and student name. Students learn about importing data from one program to another with this project.

[caption id="attachment_5431" align="aligncenter" width="564"]lesson plan Use Google Earth in Second Grade[/caption]

–from 55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom.

More articles on geography and Google Earth:

149 Websites for K-8 Geography/Geology

Tech Tip #65: Google Street View

Monday Freebies #40: Wonders of Google Earth


Categories: 2nd, 3rd Grade, geography, google earth, kidpix, lesson plans | Leave a comment

The Power of Symbols–What does ‘Turkey’ mean?

Here’s an authentic use of technology to support discussion on math, language standards, and the holidays. As a summation to your discussion with students on symbols, idiomatic expressions, geography, farms, or another topic, post this on your Smartscreen. The poll includes lots of definitions for the word ‘turkey’–from objective to idiomatic. Have each student come up some time during the day (or class) and make their choice.

[polldaddy poll=7398424]

Did your students come up with other definitions I didn’t list?


Categories: geography, holidays, math | Tags: , | Leave a comment

12 Great Websites for Earth Day

earth dayApril 22nd is Earth Day. Celebrate it with your students by letting them visit these six websites:

  1. Breathing Earth
  2. Breathing Earth YouTube Video–of CO2 use, population changes, and more
  3. Conservation Game
  4. Eco-friendly house
  5. Eeko World
  6. Ecotourism Simulation–for grades 4 and above
  7. Electrocity
  8. Eyes on the Earth–from NASA
  9. Footprint calculator (more…)
Categories: geography, websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

149 Websites for K-8 Geography/Geology

geographyIf you’re studying geography in your classroom, you won’t want to miss these 149 great websites. I have them divided as:

  • General
  • Biomes
  • California regions (only because that’s where my teaching centers)
  • Global
  • Natural Disasters
  • Survival in the…
    • Jungle
    • Desert
    • Mountains
    • Prairie
    • Ocean
    • General survival websites
  • Virtual tours (some great sites here)



Categories: geography, google earth, websites | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #65: Google Street View

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I can’t find enough detail about a particular area of the world that we’re studying in class. Any suggestions?

A: That’s a lot easier to do today than it used to be, thanks to Google Street View. Students love walking down the street that they just read about in a book or seeing their home on the internet. It’s also a valuable research tool for writing. What better way to add details to a setting than to go see it?

Categories: geography, google earth, tech tips | Tags: , | Leave a comment

#48: Sponge Activities for Geography

Introduce students to web-based geography activities that can be done in five or ten minutes between lessons, before lunch, in free time. I include five in this lesson.

[caption id="attachment_4325" align="aligncenter" width="567"]geography sponges Geography sponges for extra classroom time[/caption]


Categories: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, geography | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Website #133: Embeddable Puzzles

It’s the time of year when children are looking for entertainment and parents want something fun to keep their cerebral fires burning. Entertainment-cerebra–that’s not an oxymoron. Check this website on States, and then check out the other topics available on Quiz Factor.



Categories: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, geography, websites | Leave a comment

A Virtual Tour of America–Via Biplane

Another virtual tour, this one of America…

See more virtual tours here.


Categories: geography, science, websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

Dear Otto: What About Carmen San Diego?

tech questions

Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Dawn:

We have upgraded our Computer Lab computers to Windows 7, some programs are now obsolete since they were DOS and will not run with 7. Carmen San Diego is one we used for Geography. Some teachers are sad we can’t use that anymore – the students did enjoy it. Do you know of anything our that can take its place? Thanks for your time!

I know what you mean. We tried to run it at my school–spent too much time tweaking everything–and never succeeded. I’ve had to toss it.

There are a few geography games you can look into:

They’re OK, but not as good as CSD. I’ll post your comment–see if anyone has any other ideas.


Categories: 4th Grade, Dear Otto, geography | Tags: | 4 Comments

Monday Freebies #40: Wonders of Google Earth

This year more than any before, classroom budgets have been cut making it more difficult than ever to equip the education of our children with quality teaching materials. I understand that. I teach K-8. Because of that, I’ve decided to give the lesson plans my publisher sells in the Technology Toolkit (110 Lesson Plans that I use in my classroom to integrate technology into core units of inquiry while insuring a fun, age-appropriate, developmentally-appropriate experience for students) for FREE. To be sure you don’t miss any of these:

…and start the week off with a fully-adaptable K-8 lesson that includes step-by-step directions as well as relevant ISTE national standards, tie-ins, extensions, troubleshooting and more. Eventually, you’ll get the entire Technology Toolkit book. If you can’t wait, you can purchase the curriculum here.

I love giving my material away for free. Thankfully, I have a publisher who supports that. If everyone did, we would reach true equity in international education.

Explore the Wonders of Google Earth

Students create their own tour on Google Earth using locations selected by the classroom teacher. They add the locations to Google Earth, add a fact about it and turn it into a tour.


Categories: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, geography, google earth, lesson plans | Tags: , , | Leave a comment