Geography Extras
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10 Well-Travelled Ed Sites for Google Earth Field Trips and Tours

10 Well-Travelled Ed Sites for Google Earth Field Trips and Tours | Geography Extras |
Google Earth is a tool that I use every week, if not every day in my classroom. I have also presented this tool to my previous district at a summer tech institute professional development training...

Via GoogleLitTrips Reading List, Paulo Gervasio
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, December 5, 2014 12:16 PM

5 December 2014


It is quite moving to this retired English teacher to find expressions of appreciation such as this one, knowing that in my own way that after nearly 40 years as a classroom teacher,  I've been able to continue to support teachers and their students from Kindergarten through grad school from over 150 countries with the Google Lit Trips resources they find valuable.


One of the treats for me has been a result of  bloggers who've created comments that capture better than I have done, an essential element of the Google Lit Trips project. 

Mr. Clayton, this blog's author came up with, "The tours are complete with links and facts that can make any reading block a reading block party."

To me, this quote is much more than a wonderful compliment. It actually reflects two of the primary pillars upon which the Google Lit Trips pedagogy rests. The first being, that reading stories whether for personal enjoyment or as a focused learning experience, relies upon engaged enjoyment.


I hadn't thought about comparing reading to a party. In fact, I can even recall, with regret in retrospect, being slightly disappointed when a well-intended student would take the time to thank me for having such a fun class. Yes, I did try to make learning fun. And, yes, I did appreciate that the student was expressing his enjoyment for having taken the class. But somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I wanted to hear the kid say something like, "Mr. Burg, I just want to tell you that I really enjoyed the class because it gave me so many new ideas to think about that I hadn't really thought that much about before." 


My sense of the value of reading fiction was in the enjoyment of the  "on the lines" plot elements and the "ah ha" pleasures of discovering the "between the lines" themes.


My default metaphor was that great stories are like candy-coated medicine. The candy-coating, the "on the lines" plot elements being so enticing that they served to quickly break down resistance to taking in the intellectual medicine that the story's "between the lines " themes provide. From the earliest days of every reader, who didn't love the plot first and THEN gradually begin to discover both subconsciously and consciously, an engaging  burst of enjoyment in the realizing that stories can have thought provoking lessons to think about. From Aesop who gave us the "the moral of the story" to finding them myself, the "ah ha!" moment of realizing there's more to the story, was as fun as it was to actually find Waldo on a page where I had not previously done so. And, then the "fun" was further enhanced by the discovery that there were millions of visual jokes in the Waldo books that I hadn't even thought to look for as I simply scanned the page for red and white stripes. And, oh my gosh. There was even history to be found. 


To me, the metaphor of candy-coated medicine worked...sort of.. But, in a sense, once the discovery of the joys associated with the candy coating's ability to successfully disguise the "unpleasant taste" of the medicine itself, the metaphor began to break down as I began to come to believe that the "moral of the story" ONCE DISCOVERED was perhaps even more "delicious" as the candy-coating itself.


Hopefully, the metaphor ought to transition to comparing the natural attractiveness of plot (the candy-coating) and the medicinal value of the unpleasant taste of the medicine (the themes) to a metaphor more like a lollipop! Though it's actually still medicine under the candy coating, the desire to get past the plot to  "really good stuff" in the story's themes becomes pretty darn motivating.


Yes. Reading fiction engages first, then teaches. It is as "fun" a party of sorts. And, in classrooms, if managed (choreographed?) elegantly enough that engagement can become contagious engagement from plot through the discovery of the themes. It's more than a party, it's a block party. Each student's engagement is enhanced by the sharing of the many reasons why it is enjoyable to learn via well-written fiction. 



The other nine sites in Mr. Clayton's list, also are built upon place-based instruction. Google Earth is so much more than a geography resource. Placing history, math, science, or pretty much any subject (really!) in the context of it's place in the "real world," the same world our students are spending their days learning more and more about, acts as a Vygotskian bridge of sorts. Kids know about the world they live in. Reading place-based stories enhanced by visual connections to real places, adds to their understandings of their own world. And that like plot, has its own motivating engagement. Bring the two together and kids are "pre-connected" on some level that invites the kind of engagement we want all students to love about learning.


 ~ ~

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Adorable 4-Year-Old Geography Expert

This pint-sized geography whiz helped Ellen get ready for her trip to Australia! You won't believe how much he knows about the world.
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Geography game: how well do you know the world?

Geography game: how well do you know the world? | Geography Extras |
Play the Global development game: identify the world's countries and territories, rank them according to GDP then fingers at the ready for the picture round

Via Seth Dixon
Matt Evan Dobbie's curator insight, December 22, 2012 3:42 AM

Geography game

Eliana Oliveira Burian's curator insight, December 26, 2012 6:46 AM

Are you ready?


Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 12, 2013 12:07 AM

Ughhhhhh, this is addicting. Must stop playing. Must keep playing so I can beat JC.

Rescooped by Melina Walton from Human Interest!

The Ends of the Road

The Ends of the Road | Geography Extras |

Inspired in part by the great geography game GeoGuessr, I spent some time recently in Google Maps, finding the edges of their Street View image coverage. I've always been drawn to the end of the road, to the edges of where one might be allowed to travel, whether blocked by geographic features, international borders, or simply the lack of any further road. Gathered below is a virtual visit to a few of these road ends around the world -- borders, shorelines, dead ends and overlooks from New Zealand to Svalbard, from Alaska to South Africa.

Via Jukka Melaranta
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THE WORLD GEOGRAPHY: 12 Amazing Staircases Around the World

THE WORLD GEOGRAPHY: 12 Amazing Staircases Around the World | Geography Extras |
Staircases are constructions designed to bridge a large vertical distances by dividing it into smaller vertical distances, called steps.
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Globetrotter XL

Globetrotter XL | Geography Extras |
Find famous cities worldwide and improve your geographic skills. (This game makes geography fun. That fact blew our minds to the point where we couldn't do geography. Curses!
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Rescooped by Melina Walton from Geography Education!

GeoGuessr - Let's explore the world!

GeoGuessr - Let's explore the world! | Geography Extras |
GeoGuessr is a geography game which takes you on a journey around the world and challenges your ability to recognize your surroundings.

Via Seth Dixon
Allison Henley's curator insight, September 10, 2014 2:35 PM

Very addicting even though I'm not that great at it!! haha

Matleena Laakso's curator insight, October 5, 2014 4:55 AM

Tämä on hauska, muutaman kerran on tullut "pelattua".

Alex Smiga's curator insight, September 7, 2015 4:36 PM

Cool game that drops you down somewhere random in the world on street view, then asks you to guess where in the world you are

Rescooped by Melina Walton from Geography Education!

Bike Share Map

Bike Share Map | Geography Extras |
Visualisation for bike shares across the world.

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 28, 2013 9:10 AM

Many cities (including Denver) have active bike share programs to ease congestion and foster a less automobile-centric urban design.  London, Paris and Mexico City are a handful of the international cities listed here but it isn't only the largest cities (Hello Lillestrøm, Norway!).  In the U.S., it is the same with typical cities (NYC and Washington DC) as well as as some smaller cities (Chattanooga and Omaha).  Is your city on the list

Tags: transportation, urban, planning.

Louis Culotta's curator insight, July 4, 2013 5:13 PM

This is great...They should have this on the east bay bike path in the Bristol, Warren & Barrington area. I went out on it today and it was so busy they could have set up some traffic cops on it to pull some people over with so meny near collisions of people riding and walking together.

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Free Technology for Teachers: 18 Google Earth & Maps Lessons for K-12

Free Technology for Teachers: 18 Google Earth & Maps Lessons for K-12 | Geography Extras |

"This afternoon in Kettering, Ohio I gave a short presentation on using Google Maps and Google Earth across multiple grades and content areas. One of the things that I shared during that presentation is the following collection of resources."

Via John Evans
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