Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Google maps and literature

I heard this idea of using Google Maps to study the setting of a novel.  Students can look at a map to see where the setting is actually located and through the street view, they can see what the area looks like today.  Interesting concept.

I used to teach the novel April Morning, set in the U.S. at the start of the Revolutionary War. I always had trouble getting the kids to picture the area of the story.  Distances are so great in Texas, they couldn't imagine how the troops could get from one town to the next in a day.  If I could have used a Google map, I wonder if that would have helped.

Or think about studying about the slave trade. Kids would be able to see the distances the ships had to travel to bring those people over to the Americas. A novel set in the Civil War era could follow the battles of the war.  I think there are lots of possibilities.

Anyone ever tried this idea?  I would love to know how your students felt about using Google maps.

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