Thursday, April 5, 2012

Take a virtual trip to New Zealand

Wouldn't it be nice to start your summer vacation early...or even just wrap up the year with a fun, educational project?  One of the best vacations I've ever taken was a one month jaunt to New Zealand, during which I traveled from the upper most tip of the northern island to the bottom most tip of the southern island.  To share highlights of the trip, I put the best of the 1,000+ snapshots taken into a book.  I also turned them into a narrated film for students. 

So, here is a suggestion that combines some of our best tips into one idea: Use technology, give them choices, and have them work on a fun research project.  They can either research a place their family is going to visit over the summer, research a place they'd like to go someday or research places that you are studying (for example, I remember studying the 50 states in 4th grade and the whole world in 8th & 11th grade).  Then have the whole class share their videos and go on a virtual vacation around the country...or world.  Turn it into a special day where students kick back, while sharing what they learned about someplace new via a cool digital story they created.

I like to use the movie maker on Mac at home and Windows at school.  I've found they are both easy to use for an end user such as myself (someone who doesn't know much beyond what is right in front of her face when it comes to technology).  If you want a quick tutorial there are online articles. If you want to create a quick rubric, click here.  If you want an example, but don't want to create your own, go to my store and check out my New Zealand film.  I've reduced the price by 50% (only $1.50) for the next week only!

Have fun!  The summer will be here before you know it!

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