This week I have been working with my social studies teacher to set up a intro lesson for ancient civilizations. He wanted to have students do some brief research about some of the major civilizations like Aztecs, Egyptians, Shang Dynasty etc. As a small group students were to find some basic information in the areas of geography, politics, inventions etc.
He wanted to make it more authentic for them so that they might get a scope of these empires. We decided to look at using google maps as a presentation tool. I found resources for each group and posted them on the website. We created one google account per classroom which allowed them all to be on at the same time, edit and change (even without sharing) and all the projects listed at once.
View Egyptian Empire in a larger map
We only gave the students about 40 minutes of class time to create this introductory lesson and they were to present the 2nd day. It turned out really nicely...and the teacher and I learned a lot. The students started presenting today and things got a good start. (They still tend to read right of the computer- but hey...we're still in the first week!)
Some ideas we thought of: different push pin shape for each topic, use several push pins to make simple points (2-3 lines or one picture), classmates take notes on the presentations. More and more.
Overall - it was pretty successful for the first try!