2 Truths & A Lie: State Style


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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.

Google Maps in Class: State Reports

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).

screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-1-38-06-pmHowever, 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.

State Report on Maps Directions.

Here’s a student example:


NOTE: While ‘Sate Reports’ are a tradition in 5th grade, it is not actually a standard. The standard, in California, states:

5.9 Students know the location of the current 50 states and the names of their capitals

This standard can be met by participating in Mystery Skypes/Hangouts and various other engaging activities. Just because we’ve always done something doesn’t mean we have to continue doing it.

Maps & State Reports

Okay, it’s been a week, and I’m still feeling like a Rock Star! The students are really into their reports. So far the only hang up has been that YouTube is STILL blocked in my district. It happened to be open 1-day last week and some of the students were able to insert some videos – not many I’m afraid.

They are still working on them, but I’m still hopeful. I had many tell me that they WANTED to work on them at home. A few ASKED if they could write about MORE than one Indian Tribe. Yes, they are doing more than the minimum required, on their own! This is cool. Usually, it’s like pulling teeth for them to write the reports (and I could say the same about me when it comes to reading the reports. THIS is way more fun. I’m enjoying watching the process and guiding them along the way. Here is our Thinglink:

Update 10-16-15: Due to Google moving Maps to Drive and my district’s ‘sharing’ permissions no one outside our district is able to view the state reports. As a fix for this upcoming year, I will create a map for each student or group and give them sharing permissions. This way, the world will be able to see their work – which is what it’s all about.