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Student Travel Journal Image

Social Studies and Geography open up a child’s mind to the many cultures, climates, and people in our world. With technology, students are able to talk to people from and see pictures of places that once seemed impossibly far away. Biteslide can offer teachers and students an opportunity to create “road maps” and “travel journals” that help students review special places they have learned about while also increasing their contact with the cultures, histories, and people they have learned about in their textbooks.

Common Core State Standards covered by this project

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1
    Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3
    Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7
    Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.10
    By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2–3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.2
    Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.6
    With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.7
    Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.10
    Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3
    Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.7
    Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.9
    Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.6
    With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.8
    Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.

Materials Needed For This Project On A Weekly Basis

  • Access to a Computer Lab and Biteslide.com
  • Relevant Textbooks/Social Studies Notes
  • Writing Utensils
  • Optional: Cheat Sheet of Relevant Questions

Activity

The students can work alone or in groups to create a yearlong “travel journal” that highlights different geographical locations that they have learned about in their classroom. The students should be able to extend their textbook knowledge into secondary websites that are informative and appropriate. The teacher might want to include or create a “cheat sheet” that the students can use all year to help them pursue decent and relevant information. Questions on the cheat sheet could include:

  1. 1. What types of animals live here?
  2. 2. Does this city have any special buildings?
  3. 3. If you had only one hour, what would you visit and why?
  4. 4. Was something invented here?
  5. 5. Is someone famous from here?

While the students are clipping and creating slides, the teacher should supervise and discuss proper sources and crediting for photographs.

At the end of the year, the students should be able to present their travel journal to the class and to their parents. As an extension, teachers should print out individual slides to pull together a bulletin board that can be changed throughout the year.

Modifications

For students with special needs or who need extra monitoring, it is easy to add editors to any individual slide show. Students can collaborate with one another to produce the best results.

ESL students should be encouraged to add words that they understand into the slide but they can also convey what they have learned with well-placed pictures and collages.

Biteslide makes it easy to store and retrieve yearlong projects. There is no classroom clutter and the project is easy to integrate into computer class and testing weeks. With so many voices crowding the Internet, teachers can use programs like Biteslide to help their students become responsible web-based researchers.

If you don’t already have an account on Biteslide, you can sign up for free here.

Kathryn Rose is an full-time educator turned full-time mom and writer focusing on parenting and educational topics. After completing her Elementary Education Certification through North Park University, she taught middle school Social Studies in Chicago, IL. She still teaches part-time and loves putting together engaging lesson plans and activities that keep kids engaged and moving.


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