Recently, for my McDaniel College graduate class, I researched and reviewed some online tools I discovered via the Cool Tools for Schools Wiki. One tool I really liked is called Smilebox. Smilebox appealed to me from the beginning due its ease of use and scrapbook-esque appearance. Once I gave it a try, I immediately realized it would be a perfect tool for my 6th Grade Geography students to use during an assignment I call, “Road Trip!”. After a unit about East Africa, my students create an itinerary for a road trip to an assigned country in East Africa. I provide them with online resources in a folder within Google Apps including maps of the region (physical, political, and climate) and travel sites for different countries. They use the information to decide where they would like to visit, what to pack, what kind of rental vehicle they might need, and what they would eat. This year, my students created a paper poster to share with the class the itinerary they created for their road trip. Next time, by using Smilebox instead of paper, my students could demonstrate their knowledge of the climate, topography, and culture of their country in a fun, colorful, and creative way. Always engaging!
Here’s a link to an example of a Smilebox album for the Road Trip! activity. Make sure you have your sound on as music is one of the customizable options.