Afloat in the Ocean

Yesterday we read an article about plastic afloat in the ocean.  In particular, we found out about a huge gyre of plastic, twice the size of Texas, that has formed in the Pacific Ocean, close to Hawaii.

You can read more details about the gyre and other interesting Current Events that we have been collecting for our Sustainability News Google Map.

Ms Cofino found this YouTube clip about the gyre for us too:

Sustainability and Google Maps

We are going to combine our non-fiction reading strategies with our Sustainability unit to learn about some current events around the world.

Using Google Maps, we will collaborate as a class to create a map with news that we find.

On the left side of the blog, under “Pages”, you can see a link to our map under the title  Sustainability News. The Google Map allows us to place “pins” to mark locations around the world where events related to the environment and sustainability are taking place.  You need to remember to log in to the Google Map to “edit” and place “pins”.  Is there someone in Room 231 who would like to create a screencast to show others how to do this?

Our first step is to find an event to report on.  There are many ways to do this!  We have an RSS feed on our Netvibes page.  Online and print newspapers are good sources.  So are our online reading links–Time for Kids, National Geographic Kids, and Scholastic News.  News reports that we watch on television (or online) are also useful.  We found that sometimes you have to do a little further research if you start with a video, in case you haven’t got enough information to answer all the questions.

What information will we include in our reports?

We will answer the following questions:
· Who is involved?
· What is happening or has happened?
· Where?
· When?
· Why did this happen?
· Why is it important?
· Is the effect on the environment positive, negative, or neutral?

You can see a couple of sample reports already on the map – completed by me.  We will created one together in our first week of Semester 2.

After the holidays, we will be finding more events to put on the map. As we learn more about using Google Maps, we hope to add images and videos to the map, as well as our reports.