Google Lit Trips
So What exactly are Google Lit Trips?
The short version is simple. Google Lit Trips are free downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. At each location along the journey there are placemarks with pop-up windows containing a variety of resources including relevant media, thought provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about “real world” references made in that particular portion of the story.
The focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students. I like to say Google Lit Trips “3-dimensionalize” the reading experience by placing readers “inside the story” traveling alongside the characters; looking through the windshield of that old jalopy in The Grapes of Wrath or waddling alongside Mr. and Mrs. Mallard’s duckling family in Make Way for Ducklings.”
What Google Lit Trips AREN’T
Google Lit Trips aren’t like sparknotes and other resources that can be used to circumvent the need to actually do the reading. They are designed to stimulate higher level thinking skills and to connect the story’s themes and messages to the issues of the real world in which students live.
Are they really free?
|Google Lit Trips||Free||Free for use.|
In my classroom, students al read different novels at their reading level, which makes it difficult to provide supplemental knowledge on each book for all the students in the class. This app makes it easy for readers to discover more about their book independently in order to customize their learning and learn to do independent research. Books can act as a passport to the world around us and this app ensures that students are gaining global knowledge with each book they read. This can be incredibly eye-opening to students and get them more excited about reading.
The webpage is a bit complicated to use and you need to book a “lit trip” in advance, so this activity takes some planning. Also, not all book titles are available, so it can only be offered to some students who are reading available books.
I have created something similar to Google Lit Trips that is customized towards teaching marine science. I use Google Earth chapter tours and activities of primary source, nonfiction maritime literature. It is a multidisciplinary way to introduce and engage students in marine science, history and art. Feel free to share the material at: http://Sailthebook.net