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Alpha, Bravo, Charlie

I have a long last name. Sometimes telemarketers call asking for "Mrs. Armadillo" or "Mrs. Avocado." I learned quickly to spell it out "A as in apple, v as in victor, o, n as in nancy, d as in dog..."

Reading (writing & listening) requires recognition of each symbol, the sound (or sounds) made individually/in combination with others. It makes sense that one of the first songs young children learn is the ABC song. It's so pervasive, I bet the song popped right into your head while reading this sentence:)

So we have been having fun with Google Earth here this afternoon. The kids love to watch the screen zoom from outerspace down to the pinpoint sticking on our home address, then click around looking at what bushes are in a neighbors front lawn or who's truck is parked on the street. It's really amazing.

See if you can find all the letters from A-Z .

Conversations about Privacy & Big Data aside, there are some neat things you can do with Google Earth.

1. Plan the ultimate roadtrip. You could travel around the world, or just around your city.

2. Show the kids where you grew up. While you navigate the streets, point out places that have changed & share memories of childhood.

3. Spin the globe until someone says "stop!" Explore, research & discover all about a new place.

4. Talk about your heritage. Find a country where you have ancestors & explore landmarks. Then use your library card to contemporary cultural music.

5. Take the opportunity to get educated about other parts of the world. It is amazing to see how humans all over the world are so similar in many ways & yet completely unique. Maybe even talk with the kids about places that are under extreme environmental or political stress. Practice empathy & compassion.

6. Teach orienteering skills. Have the kids plot a map showing the route from home to their school. Look at the map from aerial and street view.

Don't forget to look up into the sky today & wave at all the satellites, airplanes & stars peeking at the Earth.

Toodleloo, Kangaroos!

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