Not so long ago, I wrote about a year-long project (2 Truths & a Lie) that I will be collaborating on with a teacher from Texas. In short, we are working with States as it is a 5th-grade standard. Students will be researching and recording information on a shared Google My Map.
This got me thinking. First of all, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE using Google My Maps in the classroom. This lesson design can be used with other grades and topics.
I believe that 2nd-grade studies habitats. Why not draw a polygon around the regions students will be studying and have them create their own 2 truths and a lie on a shared map? Or in 4th-grade for the California Missions, using the draw line tool, draw the Mission Trail and have them create place markers with the information for each Mission. Again, using the draw a line tool, older students can draw the route of armies for the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Or routes and pin markers can be placed on maps to show battles during the Civil War. A class that studies ecology can log information on a map. In ELA, while reading a story, plot points that correspond with locations and practice comprehension using 2 truths and a lie.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that the possibilities are endless with this lesson design. It makes students dig a bit deeper and think about what they read and think. They have to be ready to analyze the information given in order to find the lie.
So what sort of lessons will you do with your students using 2 Truths and a Lie?
It’s no secret that I LOVE incorporating Google My Maps whenever and where ever I can in the classroom. So a teacher friend, Jennifer Stimpson (who is an AMAZINGLY inspirational scientist/teacher), thought it would be fun to get our classes to collaborate. She is a teacher in Texas and I teach in California. Our students come from drastically different backgrounds, which makes this project all the more appealing. We are going to play 2 Truths and A Lie: State Style.
In short, although the details have yet to be worked out, we will divide our classes into groups. Each group will be assigned a state in which, using Google My Maps, they will need to research the state and write 2 truths and 1 lie. They must cite their source and they may embed a video. This is phase 1.
Phase 2 will then see the teams working on another state, one the other class has completed, to find the 1 lie. Once the lie is found, it must be corrected and sources must be cited.
Finally, phase 3 the two classes will play either a Kahoot or Quizzizz game together. The idea is that students need to know the information for ALL 50 states, not just the ones they did. So students will have to work together, maybe digital notebooks, to study and learn.
We figured that this was way more fun than filling out a blank map of the U.S. What are your thoughts? How can we make it better? Want to join in on the fun? Here is the link to our document with a few more details.
Recently I was leading a session on Google My Maps (#cuerockstar #rOxnard) when a question came up: Can you set the view in My Maps? I said, “No, I don’t think so.” Well, I was WRONG. You can set a default view!
It’s so easy, I can’t believe I never noticed. When you first open My Maps, after placing several pins on it, the view is something like the first image. That is unless you have a select few pins in the same area. It’s a zoomed out view of the earth.
Before we get to HOW to change the view, set the view to how you would like it to look when the Map is first loaded. Once the desired view is on the screen, click on the 3 dots to the right of the Map Title (#rOxnard1 in this case), a pop out window will then appear with options. One of them is to set the default view.
Simply select ‘Set default view’ and you’re done! Now everytime this map is opened, it will look like this:
Last week I had the privilege of being a part of the #cuerockstar #rOxnard faculty. And what an amazing group they were! As tradition, we all had one minute to ‘sing for our supper’ also known as ‘Shred Session’. Yeah, that one-minute time limit? It meant nothing to me! In true RockStar fashion, I went a tad over. In all fairness, Mike Vollmert warned me that my time would soon be up. My response? “I don’t care,” and kept going. That was the first time I ever did that.
Day 1, I shared one of my passions: HyperMaps. Imagine creating a map (using Google My Maps – found in Google Drive) where students learn and the teacher is truly a facilitator. Or having students record their learning on maps. Combine My Maps with photos, websites, documents, etc and the possibilities are endless! I was inspired by the participants. Randi, had the brilliant idea to link a street view image in her map. She teaches her students about pyramids and was setting up a Hypermap that allows her students to experience the sites they learn about. I LOVE sharing the joy that is Hypermaps!
Day 2, for me, was all about green screens and the fun you can have with them! Check out my shred:
Lots of creating happened! Lots of problem-solving and collaborating. Participants were App Smashing in ways I had never thought of before! I learned so much from everyone this day. Check out this crazy creation by George Carganilla.
When one thinks of incorporating Google Maps into their curriculum, the first thought is Social Studies. While that’s quite natural, I have incorporated Maps into most subjects. My latest brainstorm came when I was teaching adding and subtracting fractions. Yup, you read that right, I have students adding and subtracting fractions using Google Maps.
One simple option is to plot a point and place a real-world problem in the description box. Good start, but what if the students used distances to find the sum or difference?
I created this map of our town and included lines (using the draw line tool) to various locations in our town. This is where it got #eduawesome! The distance (which is displayed once the line is chosen) is shown in decimals! This means they have to convert the decimal to a fraction or mixed number, find the common denominator, and THEN add or subtract! And just to make life a bit more fun, I wasn’t too precise on all my lines. This means they also had to ROUND to the nearest hundredth and in some cases simplify!
Find the difference between Route A and Route B.
Route A – From school to a local Mobile Home Park (0.753 mi)
Route B – Keefer’s Inn to the high school (0.599 mi)
In this case, Route A was rounded to the nearest hundredth (0.75) while Route B was rounded to the nearest tenth (0.6). Then students had to convert this to a fraction and simplify. Route A = 75/100 = 3/4. Route B = 6/10 = 3/5.
Finally, the students were tasked with finding the difference. There were a lot of steps in there, but it was so much more fun than writing out and solving problems in the workbook. This was more in depth than any workbook I’ve seen, more fun, easy to create, and used a variety of acquired skills. I will be doing more things like this in the future.
A few years ago I was looking for something new to do with state reports so I had students do them using Google Maps. Part of my desire to do something different came from frustration. I had been doing state reports near the end of the year. And that means NO ONE really wants to do them and I don’t want to read them – for the sheer fact that the quality isn’t there (end of the year, in 5th grade, last grade in our elementary school…see my point).
However, when I changed the format to maps, the engagement and quality significantly improved. Students entered in the morning ASKING to do the ‘reports’. In the end, it was much more enjoyable for everyone! They still had to do the research and write a quality report.
Recently I was doing a project and wanted the 13 original colonies map, but didn’t want to outline each state. Instead, I downloaded the .KMZ file of all 50 states (Map found here) and deleted all but the original 13. I had to do some modifications, but that was so much easier than recreating it all from scratch. And it was so easy to export the file then import it into my map.