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Students travel the world with postcards and Google Earth

3:14 PM, Apr 25, 2013   |    comments
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The price of a postcard can open up the world to some East Tennessee elementary school students.

During one recent class, students went to chicago, but they didn't need to board an airplane.

Family, friends, and friends-of-friends send postcards from their vacations to Talbott Elementary School's 5th grade class.

"It's really neat because it's really a domino effect because I'll tell some people and they like the idea so they'll tell some people so we get postcards from people we don't even know," Phillip Lewis said.

The teacher uses iPads, imagination, and internet resources to create interactive lessons touching on geography and history and math.

For this particular lesson, Katelyn manipulated Google Earth to find Talbott Elementary then the students found Chicago.

"This is in Chicago where the cubs play," Lewis said as pointed out Wrigley Field.

He explained, "Basically when they send us a postcard we go on to Google Earth and we take a virtual field trip. So it's busting down the walls of the room and traveling all around the world for the price of a postcard."

Postcards classes collected over the past couple years feature Egypt, Mexico, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

"Vietnam is one of the ones I like because Katelyn is from Vietnam," 11 year old Samantha Porter said.

Samantha Porter and the rest of the class know how to use technology to explore the globe.

"There's a search box and you just type in Vietnam and it takes you to Vietnam," she said.

Eleven year old Darious Donaldson said, "Every place we go we have a passport and we try to find a stamp for it and then we put a stamp in our passport."

When they virtually visited China, Darious was fascinated by the Terra Cotta Warriors.

"They're warriors and they are exact replicas of people and they were found just by farmers plowing his field and he hit something and he dug it up and it was a Terra Cotta Warrior," he recalled.

That memory proves their teacher's point. "Kids can remember all the little cool facts. And if you tie that in to something they need to know they remember it," Lewis said.

Samantha said, "It's just been a really good experience learning about different countries and states and stuff."

The Talbott Elementary students hope you'll join them in their postcard project.

Samantha said, "Send us a postcard."

Darious said, "If you can get a postcard from somewhere just bring it back because we like taking trips."

Here is the address for Talbott Elementary School.

Talbott Elementary School
c/o Mr. Lewis
848 Talbott-Kansas Road
Talbott, TN 37877

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