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The Tale of Despereaux Adventure

What it is:  I learned about this awesome interactive site from Larry Ferlazzo’s blog.  It is just too good to pass up blogging about it!  This interactive story book lets students create their own tale in the Kingdom of Dor.  The students become a part of the story as they create a character version of themselves that takes part in the story adventure.  Students can choose to have interactive games and puzzles included in their story.  The story is a virtual pop-up book, it is read to students and they can read along with subtitles.  Along the way, students have to help solve problems in the story by playing an interactive game.    How to integrate The Tale of Despereaux Adventure into the classroom:  The Tale of Despereaux Adventure is a really impressive site.  This would be a great introduction to the book by Kate DiCamillo.  The site would act as a teaser for the book that would have students eager to read.  Even if you aren’t reading The Tale of Despereaux, this is a fun way to get students interested in reading (most of them won’t even realize that they are reading!)  Set up a Tale of Despereaux center on your classroom computer during reading time for a month.  Each day two new students can visit the center and take part in their own adventure.  This site could also be used with an interactive whiteboard or projector for the students to create a whole class story.  If students choose to read the story with the interactive games, they  will be stopped along the way to complete puzzle and logic games throughout the story.  These type of games are great to get kids thinking creatively and outside of the box.  The story can be viewed in different languages, this would be a fun site for foreign language classes to visit in the language they are studying!   Tips:  One thing I don’t love about this site is that it asks students to enter their first and last name to be part of the story.  I teach my students never to put their last name online.  I ask my students to make up a last name when creating their story.    Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Tale of Despereaux Adventure in your classroom.

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Moon in Google Earth

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Geography, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips | Posted on 20-07-2009

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What it is: Today is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission.  I have been following the moon landing on We Choose the Moon.  This is an incredible site that has allowed me to re-live (for the first time) the Apollo 11 mission as if it were happening today.  In honor of this historic day, Google released Google Earth 5.0 complete with Moon view.  With Moon in Google Earth you and your students can take tours of landing sites narrated by Apollo astronauts, view 3-D models of landed spacecraft, zoom into 360* photos of astronauts footprints, and watch rare TV footage of the Apollo missions.

How to integrate Moon in Google Earth into the classroom: Now that the moon has made an appearance in Google Earth, your students can experience the moon and Apollo missions up close and personal.  Space, astronauts, Apollo missions, and the moon were the stuff of legends before the space race took off.  Moon in Google Earth brings back the excitement of the space race allowing students to explore and discover.  This is an excellent virtual field trip to take your students on during any space or moon unit.  Use an interactive whiteboard to discover as a class.  Students can take turns being moon tour guides.  Students could also explore independently keeping their discoveries in a space journal and reporting back to others what they discovered on their journey to the moon.

Tips: Google Earth is a download.  If you need IT to perform downloads for you, be sure that Google Earth makes it on your list of must haves for the school year.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Moon in Google Earth in your classroom.Moon in Google Earth

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