January 9, 2012

Google Earth to Visualize A Paradise Called Texas

Have you ever found yourself reading a novel trying to visualize the setting in your mind? Wouldn't it be great if you could actually see how that place looks today? Mr. Williams' fourth grade students did just that---as they were reading their 4th grade novel, A Paradise Called Texas, they came upon a part in the story where the characters were travelling from the small town of Wehrstedt to Bremen and then on to Bremerhaven via boat across the Atlantic Ocean. The class was able to utilize Google Earth to virtually fly to Bremen and view actual photographs of  Bremen square and the statue described in the book. Then utilizing the measurement function in Google Earth, they also measured the distance of their journey across the Atlantic and discussed how long it would take the characters to travel 5000 miles by boat. Throughout the course travelled, students were able to view photographs of the places they encountered along their journey.

What a great example of technology integration with real world application! Mr. Williams' students experienced  (3-5.8.B) using interactive technology environments, such as simulations to manipulate information and (3-5.7.C) using a variety of data types including text and graphics.

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