Imagine you are a trained undercover agent. While helping a little old lady across the street after saving stranded kittens stuck in a tree, you’re ambushed by evil doers.
You’re taken prisoner, shoved in the trunk of their getaway car, and transported to a secret location.
But because you are a trained undercover agent, you’re able to escape. The problem? You’re not sure where you are. You could be in any city in the world!
And so begins your adventure in the very cool, free, online, geo-based game called Pursued. Using the Street View feature of Google Maps, the makers of Pursued have created a great way for you to trains kids to ask questions, use visual clues, think spatially, become comfortable with geography tools, create mental maps, and solve problems all while having a good time. Read more
It was a massacre. Bodies lying everywhere, draped over rocks and sprawled in the road. The cries and moans of the wounded loud in our ears. The smell of gun smoke wafting through the air. Other soldiers hiding in ditches and behind trees, yelling instructions at one another.
And then . . . the bell rang and we all went to lunch.
Welcome to my 3rd hour 8th grade American History class sometime in the early 1990s. Before standards or state assessments, and without a clear district curriculum, I could pretty much do whatever I wanted.
And one of the things I wanted was for my kids to understand a bit about how historical battles were fought and how terrible war could be. So during our study of the American Revolution, we recreated the battle of Lexington and Concord.
Kids were assigned roles as British regulars or colonial militia. Tactics were discussed and practiced. We talked about historical context. And we carefully handed out the weapons – left over paper from the teachers’ lounge, wadded up into balls. Each soldier was allowed only so much, based on their role.
The colonial militia was allowed to turn over the desks to act as rocks and trees. British regulars, with red construction paper taped to the chests, had to march down the center of the classroom – surrounded on both sides by over-turned desks and angry Massachusetts farmers.
I would strike 10 or 15 old fashioned matches, blowing them out quickly so the room filled with smoke (pre-smoke alarm days) and the battle was on.
Times are tough. Teachers are getting fewer and fewer opportunities to take kids on field trips. You just can’t hop a plane and head out to the Gettysburg battlefield or the Palace of Versailles like you used to.
But the good news is if you can’t get to Versailles, Versailles can get to you. With a bit of help from Google, the Palace of Versailles now comes in 3D.
The new this summer Versailles 3D website offers you and your kids the chance to explore and experience the Palace in all of its 3D glory. Read more