Sunday, April 18, 2010

5 Awesome Ideas For Using Google Search Story Creator In The Classroom

If you haven't already heard, Google/YouTube just came out with their Search Story Creator, a way to create search stories (If you haven't seen this before check out the famous Paris Love Story sample- which was also featured as a commercial during the Super Bowl this year).

Or view a sample that I created.

Search Stories are REALLY easy to create and a GREAT assessment tool for kids! Here are 5 awesome ideas for using them in the classroom:

  1. Describe a character's point view. They (Students) can pretend they are a character in a story (maybe their current I.R. book) and do a search story from the perspective of that character. Have students explain why they choose what they choose, and why the character would search for that. This is a great way to see if they really understood the story.
  2. Introduce a new unit. Create a search story about a "mystery" topic to show to students and have them guess what the topic is as a way of introducing your next unit. If you are going to be studying the solar system your search might include, "milky way" "debate over Pluto" etc.
  3. Ease first day of school jitters. Making a good search story involves having a strong last line. Create a search story where the first 6 searches are from the perspective of a student who is nervous (like: "how to make friends" "what does cafeteria food taste like" "too much homework" etc.) and have the last line something positive (like: "my teacher is awesome" "Mrs. Jarvis is great") or something similar. You could also do a search story to share with students about what you did over the summer or how you prepared for their arrival.
  4. Make a mini-biography. After learning about a particular person students can create a search story from the perspective of that famous person. What would Abraham Lincoln searched google for? Maybe a map of Georgia, a book about natural remedies for child illnesses? Possibilities are endless. This is more creative then having students recite facts about a person, and requires much more thinking!
  5. Illustrate a how-to speech. Forget the old "how-to speech" about how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Students can illustrate in a search story the steps necessary to complete a task (what someone would need to know in order to complete the task): balance a checkbook? search for "free checking", make a sandwich? search for "characteristics of a french baguette."
Search stories can easily be done with just a few computers, because you can write your 7 searches (everyone has 7 search fields) on paper and then share the classroom computers to enter it in the creator (takes 5m tops!). The site has a selection of music clips that you can choose from- this is easy enough even for younger students.

Once they are created they are uploaded to YouTube (you have to have an account for this but students could just post to their teacher's account).

Let the creativity flow!

Posted via email from Teacher Tracks (The Posterous)


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Kelly said...

(Author note: I added this email to the comments because I love her ideas!)


I just heard about your blog through one of my listservs, and enjoyed this post very much. Had to write because as I was reading your post, it reminded me of one of my own recent posts about using _Twilight_ to teach search term selection and iterative search--then I watched your search story, and had to laugh.

So, rather than risk being tagged as spam if I tried to send you a link in comments, I thought I would e-mail it instead:

It is wonderful that you are meeting kids where they are in order to help them use technology meaningfully in their academics. Too often, I see teachers fighting kids interests to make them learn "real" lessons.

I look forward to reading more of your blog.

Thank you,
Tasha Bergson-Michelson
Research Skills Trainer
To The Point Research