Christmas Connections around the Globe - Geography Lesson

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This fun activity will be a hit with students that need an engaging review of locations located around the globe.  Students will be provided with locations that Santa Clause is traveling to.  The official name of those Christmas celebrations will be provided to add cultural focus into the identification of these locations around the world.  Students will work with team mates to identity the locations as they are drawn out of a basket.  They will then have a limited amount of time to use their geography skills to pinpoint Santa’s location using the clues provided.  For this activity, a world map will need to be displayed using a Smart board or a paper version of a world map will work too!

Click here to download the entire lesson plan for free

Entire unit of work on Antarctica

If you can't remember where names like Mawson, Shackleton and Scott fit into the history of the early twentieth century then you are sorely missing the key players in the gripping history of Antarctica. 

Ernest Shackleton's feats in my humble opinion are as amazing as any human feat in history.  This guy was a living breathing super hero. 

Not to mention the fact that Antarctica is one of the most beautiful and unique places on earth.

Here is a great unit of work for those of you wanting to teach and learn about Antarctica.  It is pitched at year 5/6 students but there is plenty in it for all ages.

Download the PDF here.

Antarctic Documentary from IMAX below

Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure
Starring Kevin Spacey, Conrad Anker, Iain Fraser, Michael Gambon, Ciarán Hinds

Enhance Google Maps with ScribbleMaps

I am doing Geography with my kids at the moment and obviously we use Google Maps quite regularly.  I recently discovered ScribbleMaps and now use this as my default Google Maps application as it offers everything that Google Maps does but has a handy little tool kit overlay that allows me to scribble, annotate, type or whatever I would like to do over the top.  That is as simple and as complicated as ScribbleMaps is but it's pretty cool nonetheless.

The ultimate guide to Google Earth for Teachers and Students

When Google Earth launched in 2004 it was one of the web’s original ‘Wow!’ tools that people really stood up and took notice of.  Today it is in an industry standard in local government for zoning, transport and a multitude of other uses and industries.  As Google’s new high definition satellite gradually covers more of the planet we will also see it in greater detail which will again open up new opportunities for the creative and entrepreneurial minded individual. 

Street View, Space, Measuring Tools, Ocean Floors, 3D scapes, Photos and even historical overlays are just some of the additions to Google Earth that continue to grow this great classroom  resource.  Today I have compiled my top Google Earth Resources and Sites for Teachers for you get the most out of it for you and your students.  I hope you enjoy it.

Stop by at Google First:

If you are an absolute beginner with G.E in the classroom then this is your first stop.  You will find a great getting started section with video tutorials, lesson ideas and give you 10 simple tasks to do with your students that will get the ball rolling.  Click here to access the Google Earth for Educators home page.

Google Earth Pro for Free.

Did you know Google Earth Pro is Free for Educators?  Google Earth Pro allows you to access higher resolution images, it is ad free, allows you add overlays for others, create movies as well as much more.  I would start here if you really want to become serious about using Google Earth as it does allow for far greater opportunities.  Click here to find out how to access it for free.  It will only last for a year at this stage but will save you $400 straight up. 

Google Earth 101

This is an excellent Wiki that will require registration but once you are in it offers in depth tutorials on areas such as:  Shortcuts, How to examine environments, creating screen casts and understanding layers, curriculum ideas and further G.E Links  Nearly all of these are video tutorials which means both you and your students can learn together.  Click here to access Google Earth 101 a great Resource by Quentin Desouza.

Google Earth Lessons

Much like its name suggests Google Earth Lessons is a hub of “How To’s” Student controlled Lessons, Teacher controlled and mini lessons on a range of searchable curriculum areas such as maths, literacy, science and so on.  A great site by a dedicated teacher that you must visit.  Check it out here.

Google Earth Resources and Tools for Educators

Here you will find multitudes of applications to use alongside G.E, dedicated, G.E Blogs, Lesson Ideas and basically all things Google Earth and education.  A must see for those looking further.  Click here to access it.

Google Earth for Geography Teachers

Last but not least G.E is probably the greatest geography tool since the atlas was created hundreds of years ago.  So if you are a geography teacher who really wants to dig their teeth into physical and political boundaries of the world then this is the site for you.

Teach your students how earthquakes happen

What is it? Following last weeks disastrous events in Haiti, Earthquakes may have been a topic of discussion in your classroom either in terms of humanitarian relief or actually enquiring about the physical causes and effects of Earthquakes.

The BBC has a brilliant brief animated sideshow that explains the causes and effects of Earthquakes which makes a very complex issue seem very simple.  It is also available in a printable PDF format if you so desire to use as handouts.

How can I use this in my classroom? Here is a great link to a BBC News Article on the Haiti Earthquakes explaining the turn of events along with a video clip.  (please note that the clip may not be appropriate for all students due to it's graphic nature - use at your own discretion.) Ask you students what they know about Earthquakes and why they occur?

Brainstorm class ideas on the board and then share the BBC Earthquake Explanation animation.

Discuss how some countries on fault lines will always be subject to Earthquakes in the future and how they can also cause Tsunami's and spread danger far wider than just the centre of the quake.  Ask students what can be done in these areas to minimise the effects of Earthquakes?

Students can then record their knowledge of Earthquakes either in whatever format you desire.  Write a survival story based on their knowledge learnt or research some famous Earthquakes from the Past.

Finally it would be great if you could brainstorm a class or school fundraiser that could help the victims of the Earthquake in Haiti.

Look forward to hearning of any great lesson ideas you have realted to the Earthquakes.

All you need to know about the flags of the world

FLAGITUP provides national flags from all the major countries in the world and lots of information on each particular country. Users can learn about the countries of the world and even take up the challenge of the Flagitup quiz!

Can your students uncover the mysteries of the Nile?

Want to see the Sphinx close up? Clamber inside the Great Pyramid? Visitthe magnificent tombs and temples of Luxor? Simply click on the imagesand enjoy a self-guided QuickTime tour through the Land of the Pharaohs.

There's so much here, it's easy to get lost. Use the Site Guide to seethe list of everything available. Classroom resources section helps youcustomize your own lesson plans, check out their lesson plans, or getstarted with ideas to energize your students.  Access it here.

Grade Level: Early Childhood (K-2), Elementary, Middle School, HighSchool, College, Adult/Professional

Digital DaVinci - Interactive lessons for students

What is it?Universal Leonardois a celebration of one of the greatest minds of all time aimed at deepening our understanding of Leonardo da Vinci through a series of European exhibitions, sscientific research and web-based resources.  It contains interactive activities, research content, interesting games and tools and resources that will enable you to discover and solve some of the mysteries surrounding his vast amount of artistic and scientific work as well as his deeply debated personal life.

How can I integrate this into my classroom?There is plenty of opportunities to tie in mathematical concepts such as symmetry and tessellation through the games area and then explore some scientific concepts such as flight and anatomy.  Obviously there is plenty here for history students and those studying biology and other areas of science to appreciate the insight and appreciation of Da Vinci's contribution to science over 500 hundred years ago and compare and contrast what we know today.  And I haven't even mentioned the art...

Check it out todayhere