Through my work as a Common Sense teacher for 2014-2015, students are learning about digital citizenship. Connected with 2nd grade lessons on community, we are learning how to be positive community members even when the community is virtual or online. A great way to demonstrate kid friendly sites, is to allow students to visit the San Diego Zoo kids site at http://kids.sandiegozoo.org/.
Why do I love this site so much? There are great kid friendly videos, lessons, activities and live cams of animals. What is not to love? Here is the video that students watch before our virtual trip.
Want to learn more about an animal, but can’t get to the zoo? The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. has many animal cams set up so that you can peek in and learn about animals. Just today I watched a panda take resting on Panda Cam 1. Perhaps it wasn’t the most exciting video, but it is summer and even pandas deserve a nap!
Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, www.historyofphilly.com, offers great insight into the importance of Philadelphia in the late 1700’s. Not only was Philadelphia a modern city, but it was a diverse city with white and black, free and enslaved persons living together. The following webisode nicely lays out the key locations during a tumultuous time in 1793 when yellow fever came to Philadephia.
Aerial America: Pennsylvania
The Smithsonian Channel has brought us this aerial view and historical tour of Pennsylvania. The first 15 minutes offer a nice overview of the planning of Philadephia as well as some fun stories. This provides students a physical overview not often seen if visiting the city on foot.
If you like a good adventure and aren’t afraid of learning some history, check out this virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Author David Baldacci, as part of the 39 Clues Reading Club, teamed up with historians to bring history to life. One of the video segments discusses the pottery of David Drake sometimes known as Dave the Potter. I have featured the award winning book Dave the Potter in school and previously shown students clips of PBS’s series History Detectives. Happy learning!
To support our virtual travels, Kindergarten and 1st grade students will listen to the New Years message from the International Space Station members. These short video clips allow students to get a better understanding of what life is like in space with zero gravity (note the somersaults!)
This month my classes will again be traveling to Paris to compare our neighborhoods with those in other cities. We have been inspired to visit the Eiffel Tower after reading Madlenka’s Dog by Peter Sis. Madlenka lives in New York City where she dreams of having a dog of her own. With her imaginary dog she walks around her block meeting neighbors. Each neighbor imagines what her dog looks like and fondly remembers their own childhood dog.
Author and Caldecott Award winner, Brian Selznick, has teamed up with the American Museum of Natural History to bring you a virtual tour of the museum. Brian’s newest book, Wonder Struck, follows the story of Ben and Rose and their individual searches that include New York and the museum. The beauty of these stories are portrayed in the blending of words and pictures just as we saw in The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
The author’s works are written at the fifth grade reading level, but can be enjoyed by a much broader audience with the use of illustration and as a read aloud.
With the heat of the summer, I have been inspired to dream of getting away. If you find that world travel is not a reality, take a virtual tour of Paris, France instead. One place I have visited is the Louvre Museum. Click here to take you to the virtual museum.
Another option is to download Google Earth for free and take a tour of Paris. If you have Panoramio clicked under the Photos layer on the left toolbar, you can enter panoramic photos and get a sense of being in the location. Bonjour!