Wednesday, July 2, 2008
mapping Jane Austen
Maps are very useful in the language arts classroom, providing context and a grounded sense when reading literature. All those places come to life when we encounter our favorite characters in space and time. Google maps and Google Earth provide innovative ways for our students to traverse the globe, following routes mapped out by the authors we study.
The novels of Jane Austen present us with English settings that have grown large in our imaginations; now, we can apply technology to deepen our understanding.
LuciaM is our Google Earth master guide, leading us on a grand tour of the cities and towns where the characters of Jane Austen's novels have lived and traveled. First, you'll need to download Google Earth, and then download Jane Austen's Life & Works.
You'll find a map of England containing icons representing places for each of Austen's novels, as well as the placemarks of her life timeline. I was eager to view the sights from Pride and Prejudice, so I deselected everything else for the time being. Here's what the map looks like:
A single click on any of the P&P icons will pop-up information about the site and why it is relevant to the novel. A quote is also included:
A double-click will zoom you down to street level. Field trip, anyone? Do you get the feeling that it's not enough to bring literature to our students anymore? Now, we can take them to the places where novels were born.