This session is quite special for me. For the first time I am actually able to attend Jerome Burg’s Google Lit Trips presentation. If you have ever been to any of my Google Earth sessions then you know that Jerome was my inspiration for figuring out how to create my own Google Earth KML/KMZ files. It all started with this blog post way back when. His direct and indirect assistance has been invaluable and many of my colleagues have benefited from his expertise.
If you’ve never been there before, take a moment to check out Google Lit Trips…I mean right now! Go take a look and come back…..
…Now that you’ve seen his site, isn’t it cool? Its a collection of Google Earth (KML/KMZ) files that follow a piece of literature. There are files for elementary, middle, and high school classes. What I love about Google Lit Trips is that it combines 21st century literacy skills with 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century literature. It places students in the middle of a story and with Google Earth they are able to follow a character (or characters) virtually through a tale. As a student I hated to read, but I loved maps. Had a teacher ever showed me Google Lit Trips I would have been all over it…and I might have actually paid attention to the book or story we were reading.
As I am watching Jerome I am nearly jumping out of my seat wanting to race back to school to show teachers and students how to make their own Google Lit Trips. Jerome has some great ideas for including essential reading questions, thinking-about-the-story conversation starters, and vocabulary words in each placemark. I like his idea for linking vocabulary words to pictures. This forces students to process the picture and develop their own definition.
If you are interested in creating you own files Jerome has provided some great tutorials and teaching tips on his site. I can also tell you from personal experience that he doesn’t mind a email or two when you get a little confused. 😀 While Google Lit Trips is a project Jerome started he views it as a collaborative project. If you have a piece of literature you love to teach, create a Google Lit Trip file on your own or with your students. Submit your project to Jerome and it will appear on his site for others teachers throughout the world to use.
Jerome – Should you read this, thanks again for the presentation, help, and inspiration!