Monday, June 18, 2012

Images of the World

I recently joined Pinterest, mostly for personal reasons, but I discovered an unexpected educational use. I noticed that people were posting excellent photography of beautiful places from around the world. At first, I didn't think much of it and ignored those posts because they were not meeting the purpose of why I was browsing pinterest. Then, I came up with an idea...

I started downloading the images and putting them in a digital folder titled, "Images of the World." I kept the title of each image as the name of the place it was photographed and the country, if given. Many of the images are from the same region so I grouped those together.

I plan to show these images to students as introductions to learning about that country, region, and culture. I think taking the time to add information and create a solid schema about that region is more meaningful to the students rather than showing them several images in a row and merely telling them where each was taken.

These ideas could be used as a supplementary lesson for world cultures, a writing prompt in English, or whatever else your creative teaching mind can design. I'm sure there are many uses and I'd love to hear them!

Here are some ideas which could be added:

1. Due to the uniqueness of some of the photos, they could be shown with no explanation and the students could write or shout out questions the photos awaken.This could be continued with some research to answer those questions and embellish the knowledge surrounding the image and its region. Students could present their findings in a multitude of various ways OR they could simply informally share the answers. What I like about the latter is that it keeps the focus on the excitement of learning for the sake of learning without burdening it down with another project assignment.

2. Students could do a quick-write followed by a conversation about their thoughts and emotional responses of the images.

3. Images of animals could also be incorporated into the lesson on each region. There is also an abundance of these on pinterest.... mostly of bats right now... I'm not sure why. 

4. Viewing that region on Google Maps or Google Earth could also be incorporated, especially if you can use the Street View. Quite often, Google Maps shows images on the sidebar of special attractions from the area you are viewing at the time. 

5. Use Breathing Earth website to show students statistics about that country. Hover the mouse over the country and it will tell you the population, the death rate, the birth rate, and the amount of CO2 emission.

6. Add the image (if possible) of a family from that country with their food from the book, Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. Many of the photos can be found online such as on this blog.

I think this should be okay in regards to copyright because the photos are being used exclusively to teach students about that region of the world.


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