Monday, April 18, 2022

Ten Fun Things for Students to Map

Last week I published a video about how to record a Google Earth tour in your web browser. That’s just one of many tools that students can use to create multimedia maps. A few other options include using Scribble Maps, Padlet maps, and Google’s My Maps tool.

Creating a map with one of these tools can help students develop a better contextual understanding of where places are in the world. Rather than just hearing Friday Night Lights was loosely based on Odessa, Texas they can actually see where in the world Odessa, Texas is in relation to other places they may know or have heard of. Continuing from that example, here are ten fun things for students to map.
  • Settings of television shows.
  • Movie locations.
  • The locations of favorite sports teams and their rivals.
  • Settings of favorite books.
  • Birthplaces of celebrities.
  • Origins of dog breeds.
  • Locations of city names in songs.
  • Locations in geography jokes (check here and here for some fun, clean geography jokes).
  • All the places visited in one season of The Amazing Race.
  • List of dream vacation destinations.
For more ideas about using Google Earth in your classroom, take a look at my Around the World With Google Earth activity or enroll in A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies

It's Patriots' Day! Resources for Learning About the Start of the American Revolution

Today is Patriots' Day here in Maine, in Massachusetts, and in a handful of other states. It's a day to mark the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. As a good New Englander and a former U.S. History teacher, every year at this time I like to share a handful of resources for teaching and learning about the American Revolution. 

Pictures of the Revolutionary War is a compilation of images about the Revolutionary War. The images in the collection chronicle the stirrings of rebellion in the pre-revolution years, the war from both American and British perspectives, and events following the Revolutionary War.

The Massachusetts Historical Society offers fourteen lesson plans that are aligned to the theme of The Coming of the American Revolution. The lesson plans include a mix of document analysis activities and group discussion activities. 

Creating Google Earth tours of Revolutionary War battle sites is an activity that I did for many years with my U.S. History students. Students would create multimedia placemarks for each battle in sequence. The placemarks contained information about the outcome and significance of each battle. Here's a video on how to make a tour with with the browser-based version of Google Earth.



Video Lessons
Keith Hughes has a popular video in which he explains the American Revolution for middle school and high school students.



Crash Course has an extensive series on U.S. History. Included in that series is Taxes & Smuggling - Prelude to Revolution.



Mr. Betts has a YouTube channel on which he posts cartoons and song parodies to teach U.S. History lessons. Here's one he did about the Battles of Lexington and Concord.



For Red Sox Fans!
This is usually the day that the Boston Marathon is held and the Red Sox play a morning game. That tradition has returned this year! For my fellow Red Sox fans here's a famous clip from the 2007 Patriots' Day game.