Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Short Time Fillers with Hidden Benefits

Sometimes the timing of a lesson doesn't go as planned, and you have a few extra minutes of class.  Some Google search tools can provide a few minutes of activity to fill the time, but also provide some skills practice that will help your students when they are doing research for your class.

A Google A Day

Have you ever had a hard time finding exactly what you are looking for when searching the web?  It is really hard to learn how to Google Search effectively, especially for our high school students.  Google has a fun game, called "A Google A Day" which allows students to practice their search skills.  It asks three questions, that generally are multipart questions, and it has a search bar on the same page to practice.  They also have a great tip section and can provide hints.  I used this with my classes frequently, and they had a blast.  I let them use their cell phones and the student who solved it first had to explain to the class exactly how they found the answer.  Through the year, I noticed their search skills greatly improved.  (Many times I'd allow students to use their cell phones, because we didn't have the cart that day.)


Geoguesser is a fun game that allows students to use their critical thinking skills. They will see short sections of Google Streetview maps, and using context clues from the maps, they need to determine where in the world the map is located.  This would be such a great tool to use in World Language or Social Science courses, as students will see different parts of the world.  

If you want to create your own Geoguesser game, with your own locations, you can do that with Geosettr.  If you are introducing a new unit, reviewing locations in a novel or a historical event, or locations that it's inhabitants speak the language you teach, this would be an amazing tool to use.

Smarty Pins

Play some trivia with Smarty Pins, where you can choose the category, such as science and geography, arts and culture, or history and current events, and then find the locations on a map.  

Just For Fun:  Fun Fact

Sometimes I would write famous quotes or fun facts on the board to change things up for my students.  If you type "fun fact" into the Google Omnibox (search bar), you will find  fun facts with links to more information.  You can also click "ask another question" for more fun facts!

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