Google Earth and Audio Books

Two recent lessons I have been involved in are using Google Earth with 2nd Graders and having 5th graders create audio books for Pre-K students. Google Earth Lesson (2nd Grade): Have students pair up. (I always have kids number 1 and 2, it makes it easy to say “OK, #1 your turn to ……) Students start Google Earth and each person is allowed 5 minutes to explore the program. Click here, click there, spin the Earth this way and that. I find I have way less interruptions if you just give kids time to explore the program “their way”. Giving just 5 minutes gets all those “what’s this do?” out of the way. After both kids have had a turn at exploring the program, they come up to the front of the room and we talk about what they learned or found cool. Here was the report: “If you click on the 3D button down there, you can then go to New York and see the building in 3D.” “If you search for “Queensland’ you get taken to New York. If you search for “Queens Land” you get taken to Australia. “I like to make the world go fast” (Funny side note, one girl in class watched the world spin to fast and had to go lay down 🙂 ) “I like how it flies you places” Next up Questions: “Why are the pictures not clear on my computer but they are on yours?” “How do I find my house?” “Are these pictures like right now?” So we took some time to answer the questions. We talked about the pictures having to download from the Internet so if you are busy spinning the world or moving to quickly the pictures don’t have time to download. We also talked about why images in the states might be clearer then say those in rural Thailand. We talked about how you might find your house? What information would you need to know? Where could you find that information? Is just knowing Thailand enough? Or do you need to know where in Thailand. Oh, Bangkok! Great (we fly to Bangkok) Now what? Well we know we live by the old airport. What might an airport look like from space? What could we find that would tell us it’s an airport? A runway! Great! Let’s fly around slowly to see if we can find...

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