The Amazing Race

If you read my “About me” page, you would have noticed that I am interested in using Google Earth in my teaching. As a Mathematics teacher, so far it has been limited to where certain Mathematicians lived, worked etc. Lots of ideas for other people’s classes that I’ll share one day as I continue to create new blog entries.
But today, I read Jeff Utecht‘s blog and how his Grade 5 class has made a fun and exciting project based on “The Amazing Race”. As Jeff wrote:

Basically the 5th grade teachers wanted to do an Amazing Race theme and have the students plot on a map 7 different countries they wanted to visit. The students then had to research the different countries and find facts about them. Then they had to choose two cities within each country to have their ‘contestents’ visit within those countries.

Instead of using a map on paper we took the project to Google Earth and had the students each make their own Google Earth file with their country information.

Fascinating concept and the way to go! (excuse the pun). This concept obviously works at Primary school classes as demonstrated here, but can just as easily be used in:

  • Science classes to track where migratory animals move to and from (doesn’t have to be cities),
  • History classes to track how armies swept across a continent or where battles were fought
  • Literature classes where characters move from place to place (did you know someone in the Google Earth Community has plotted all of the places Shakespeare wrote about – I think a great resource for teachers and students)

A colleague recently asked me to assist the Year 7 students with mapping where they, their parents and grand-parents were born. All of the placemarks were saved in one folder with custom made icons used to represent paternal and maternal family members. These were then uploaded on one computer. While not quite finished, it looks to be an amazing collection of data that shows where our students and their families have come from before settling in Australia. Perhaps it will turn into an annual project for our Year 7 students. Who knows?

Any other suggestions out there for Google Earth projects?

4 thoughts on “The Amazing Race

  1. Hi Joseph
    I am a primary teacher in the UK and for about the last 2 years I have been working on using Google Earth in school, producing and authoring resources which I have been posting on the bbs.keyhole site. Take a look – http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showthreaded.php/Cat/0/Number/58519/an/0/page/1#58519 – sorry for the long URL!
    Some of the resources I began developing were things like looking at 3D buildings when talking about 3D shape. Let me know what you think.
    Over on my blog http://tbarrett.edublog.org I have also explained some of my ideas about using GE.
    I still think there is massive potential – I just haven’t had enough time to generate the resources. And I have had no contributions from the education community to the forum.

    Anyway let me know what you make of it all.
    bets wishes
    Tom

  2. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for contributing. I think the potential for Google Earth is amazing. Studentts are keen to use it as it is exciting to use this powerful tool, so it isn’t the students who aren’t holding it back.
    I’ve looked at your work and I find it incredible you have put so much up there. Sadly, it gets lost in all of the other forums. Is there a better way to put your resources and resources of other teachers from around the world together? Perhaps it is time to create a wiki for Google Earth and allow people to access it? A massive project that I don’t have time for at the moment.
    Keep posting – there are people interested.