Tag Archives: maps

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Avast! Ye scurvy scum! September 19th is “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” and while this day has not yet been recognized as a national holiday, it does provide an opportunity for some fun lessons with your class.

Every year I use this day as an excuse to decorate up the computer lab, change the desktop backgrounds to a pirate theme, and put on a pirate hat and talk like a pirate. The kids love it. Some of their teachers even get in the spirit too. I’ve been known to decorate the staff bathroom in a pirate theme as well. (Hopefully that’s not too much information for you.)

Last year I found a fun, free download called Science Pirates. Developed at New Mexico State University through a grant from the USDA, this game is designed to teach middle elementary kids about the scientific method and food safety. All the pirates on the ship are sick with something the game calls “the curse of Brownbeard”. Students must explore the island searching for the cause of the ailment.

Science Pirates Screenshot

Another fun activity you could use is Place Value Pirates. This simple little game has students fighting pirates and identifying place value with 10’s, 1’s, tenths, and hundredths. (Thanks Karen Ditzler for sharing!)

Finally, for lower & middle elementary you can try  National Geographic’s Find the Sunken Treasure. Students play the role of underwater archaeologists searching the grid for sunken artifacts. If you like this, they have other map activities at their MAPS: Tools For Adventure site.

Do you have any other fun pirate activities? Please share. And if you want to have a little fun yourself, try going to the language tool on your Facebook or Google page and change it to “Pirate”.

If teaching isn’t fun you’re not doing it right.

Collaborative Maps Update

In my last post I mentioned that, ” I’d still like to see a SHARE button on Google Maps.” Today I noticed that when I go to My Maps, I see a “collaborate” link at the top.

Clicking on it will let you invite others to collaborate with you on your map.

I’m not sure how long that feature has been there. (It was probably already there when I wrote my last post.) For now I’ll just fool myself into thinking that Google liked my idea and decided to add this feature because of me. 🙂

It’s worth noting that collaborating on a custom Google Map still requires users to register for a Google Account, something that requires an e-mail. If you’d like your students to be able to work together on a map without having to register for a Google Account, Linda Dierks suggests ScribbleMaps.

As an alternate way to have students collaborate on maps, I’ve been using Scribble Maps (http://scribblemaps.com). It gives many of the same features Google Maps can without having to set up forms. You can save the map you create to a unique URL and password (still no ID needed) and share it with others. They can save changes as long as they have the correct URL and password.

Thanks for the idea Linda.