Friday, September 5, 2008

An Ostrich - An Australian - and an Austrian Walk into Third Grade

My third grade students sing a song called, "The Alpine Song." It starts with the words, "Oh, an Austrian went yodeling on a mountain one day." For years the students would change the word "Austrian" for a word that they knew...a common thing in the elementary. So the kids would sing about the Australian, or worse, the Ostrich who went yodeling!

Then last year, I fired up the computer and we took a trip to Austria via Google Earth. I started in Traer, where I teach, and we flew virtually to Austria. I panned the screen down to look at the mountains and suddenly, they knew of Austria and the subject of the song was no longer a long-legged bird. For extra measure, I pulled up YouTube and included a video that showed an avalanche (also in the song).

The moral of the story is that there many tools at our disposal....We need to think of ways to use them in meaningful ways. There is great depth in the tools we have at our disposal.


SherryC said...

Wow! You can get YouTube in your school? We are blocked. I guess there is enough bad stuff on there to make it understandable. I have to use other tools to bring video around the firewall. I am so glad you are able to use these tools to help your third graders to move out of their little worlds and see a bigger picture. Nice work!

How is the Promethean Board?

Kobus van Wyk said...

An excellent example of innoovative use of technology in teaching - thanks for sharing it.