Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Changed My Mind: Google Lit Trips

image from this website
Have you ever written something that you regret writing?  I remember writing a blog post many years ago that had to do with Google Lit Trips and why I thought they were really not great for education.  My feels on Google Lit Trips have changed.  So, now I feel that in some circumstances having students create Google Lit Trips might be an activity that engages students with literature in a way that brings it to life for them and brings in a bit of geography.

Do you ever have students read books that take place in multiple locations or the main characters travel around?  Have you ever considered having students create their own Google Lit Trip.  

So What exactly are Google Lit Trips? 

Below is a description of Google Lit Trips from the website
The short version is simple. Google Lit Trips are free downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. At each location along the journey there are placemarks with pop-up windows containing a variety of resources including relevant media, thought provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about “real world” references made in that particular portion of the story.

The focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students. I like to say Google Lit Trips “3-dimensionalize” the reading experience by placing readers “inside the story” traveling alongside the characters; looking through the windshield of that old jalopy in The Grapes of Wrath or waddling alongside Mr. and Mrs. Mallard’’’s duckling family in Make Way for Ducklings.”

There are two great videos created by a teacher on how to create your own Google Lit Trip.  Here are the links to part one and part two.

The teacher in the video does a short example of a Google Lit Trip for Johnny Appleseed.  The teacher in the video also talked about how she used the Google Lit Trip as one of her center stations.  I feel that the real power of Google Lit Trips is when the students create them.  What better way to meet the common core standard of having students describe characters in a story and explain how their actions contributed to the sequence of events than a Google Lit Trip.

No comments: