Wednesday, November 21, 2012

World News in 10x10 and 160

World News in 10 x 10 and 160

By Ron Peck

I love it when students get excited about an assignment. It's great when they see new tools and a new way to learn; their eyes light up and they eagerly get to work. So, when Rachelle Lamoureux came up with this idea for getting students to use several online tools to produce a collaborative news map for our NCSS12 presentation, I knew my students would take to it right away. First of all, the 10 x 10 News site is easy to use and visually appealing. Then add in the Visuwords site, Newspapermap, and Google Maps and you have the makings of a wonderful new way to engage students with current events, language arts and geography. 

The 10x10 news site is excellent for students. It lists the 100 most popular news words of the day and then links it to a photo with several stories associated with it. Follow these easy directions to get your students started:

Directions for the Project

Step 1: Students will utilize the 10x10 site in order to interpret and analyze current event headlines.
Step 2: Students will utilize the Visuwords website to build and connect vocabulary.
Step 3: Students will utilize the newspaper map site in order to interpret and analyze current event headlines. Students will use news sites from around the world.
Step 4: Students will engage in group discussions about information gleaned from current event articles using news websites from around the world. 
Step 5: Students will use a collaborative Google map to denote the location of their article.
Step 6: Students will write 160 character summaries and add those summaries to their Google map place marker. They can also add images of their story.
Step 7: Students will share the collaborative Google map to make connections and draw conclusions about their 160 character summaries.

The goal of this assignment is to not only to get students thinking about what's going on in the world but to also connect it to vocabulary they read in the news as well as to the geography of events in the world. Additionally, students have to compare their news story version with another version from the place of origin. Newspapermap is a fantastic resource for finding and reading news stories written in newspapers from around the world. 

When students finish posting their stories to the Google Map they can then share with the whole class or have students describe other students' stories. Also, the map can be created each time for the assignment or the same map can be added to each time. If more than one class is adding to the same map, have each class use a different color place marker so they can see who is who. Have fun with this assignment. You can do it in one day in the computer lab or in class with a 1 to 1 set up or have them work on it outside of class if they want to get into more detail, especially at the high school level. Good luck and please share your experience after your students create a map. 

The screencast here gives you more information on how to get started with this project. Apologies to Rachelle. I pronounced her name wrong.