Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Google Maps and Common Core

This week I had the opportunity to introduce some teachers to using Google Maps for more than just looking up directions. I was asked to address Common Core standards as a part of the workshop. These are some of the Common Core standards that I think you can address through the use of Google Maps.
  • Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
  • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
  • Recognize area as an attribute of plane figures and understand concepts of area measurement.

View 27 Measures Activities in Madrid in a larger map

Two Hands-on Economics Lessons for Students

Yesterday I had a conversation with a teacher who had developed his own stock market game for his middle school social studies course. As we were talking I was reminded of a couple of hands-on economics lessons that I have used in the past with high school social studies students.

Captains of Industry is an economics simulation activity. The original version of this activity was developed by my colleague Jason Long. What I'm sharing here is the activity as I've modified it for my classroom. My version is about 75% the same as Jason's original. The point of the activity is for students to experience and experiment with the tactics of American businessmen in the second half of the 19th century. Before trying the activity it is best for students to have some familiarity with the business practices of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Morgan.
Captains of Industry - Economics Simulation

The purpose of Life on Minimum Wage is for students to recognize how difficult it is to save money when your only job(s) pay minimum wage without benefits. To win (prize not determined yet) at Life on Minimum Wage the students have to reach five financial goals that they select. To earn money the students have to complete the tasks of their assigned jobs. The students then have to pay required bills before using money for their selected financial goals. As the game progresses students will be issued "surprise" cards which require them to spend money on things like speeding tickets, trips to a health clinic, and increases in rent.

All of the jobs in Life on Minimum Wage are connected so that if one "business" slows production or closes, the workers of another business are also effected. The goal here is to demonstrate the effects of a business closing on a small town's economy.

Life on Minimum Wage - Lesson Plan