Okay, geography teachers — you’ve got a whole summer to figure out how to make geography fun and the most rewarding class your kids will take next year.
By then, Delta and Dawn the whales will be out of the Sacramento River (heck, they’re probably under the Golden Gate as I write this), so this map from the Sacramento Bee won’t be anything of great interest. I found it via Google Maps Mania, though — and that site promises to provide a barrage of wonderful and bizarre maps. Surely there will be other maps. How about this post about street views of major cities? If you have a live internet connection and a projector, you can show this stuff in real time.
Or, if you’re studying global warming, you can use this map to show what disappears if the ocean rises 1 meter, or 14 meters (from the post, “50 Things You Can Do With Google Maps“) Especially if your city is near the ocean, you can have your kids print these maps out and write a story about what it’s like to watch the ocean take back the land they grew up with. (I wish the map would allow one to drop the level of the ocean, too — a lot more what ifs, and a lot more opportunities to discuss things like the migration of humans to America 37,000 years ago . . .)
I really liked this one: What’s on the other side of the world? In my childhood, more than once we set out to dig a hole to China. Of course, had we gone straight through the Earth, we’d probably have found the Indian Ocean. It’s a silly application — just the sort of thing that gets a class talking about and playing with maps, looking at the globe, and making the associations that qualify as “critical thinking” at test time.
Go have fun.