Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Congratulations to Larry Ferlazzo!

Larry Ferlazzo just won a nice award for his work with using technology in the classroom and for the benefit of the community. He has been awarded the grand prize for 2007 in the International Reading Association's Presidential Award for Reading and Technology. Information on the award is here http://www.reading.org/association/awards/teachers_presidential.html I visit his blog most often. When I visit Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day for teaching ELL, ESL & EFL, I never fail to find something that could be put to use in the classroom. Today, for me, it's the Community Walk website which overlays a walk that you create onto a google map (I think the new term is "mashup"). The nifty feature is that you can add and save your own landmarks and descriptions (including photos) as you create your walk. Many beginning and intermediate level classes and textbooks feature lessons on giving directions. With Community Walk you can assign students to create a map with photos and descriptions of the neighborhood. As an example, here's a map I created in a few minutes using photos I already had on my computer: http://www.communitywalk.com/pacoima/ca/visiting_pacoima/map/153149, and here's a map I chose at random http://www.communitywalk.com/walking_westford.

By creating their own maps, students practice writing skills. By looking at maps other people have created, they practice reading skills. By giving the students a task, they can practice oral skills as they discuss a walk that they are viewing. (Give them a worksheet and ask questions about the locations on the map, e.g. When was the new library in Pacoima dedicated and who spoke at the ceremony? or have them describe their own walk to their classmates in an oral presentation accompanied by the map projected behind them.) More adventurous teachers (and students) could probably link their walk to a podcast so viewers of the map could listen to a description of each stop along the way...

For a wealth of good ideas, it never hurts to visit Larry's Websites of the Day...

1 comment:

Larry Ferlazzo said...


Thanks again for your kind comments. Coincidentally, I had also written a post in my blog quoting you that will run tomorrow. We should have a mutual admiration society!