PQA + Google Maps

I love to travel and I love to teach…but I don’t love to travel with my students. I can’t handle that kind of stress! However, I do love to travel with my students via Google Maps, and I don’t loose any sleep hoping that no one is sneaking out! Those brilliant Google People make it so easy to show them the sites, without leaving our classroom. And since we’re all about loading our little darlings up with Comprehensible Input,  this is just another fun way to do that! (And it just happens to be one of those NO PREP, a lot of CI bang for your buck activities that you’ll want to hang on to!)


PQA stands for Personalized Question and Answers, and it’s a good way to give your students lots of personalized repetitions of the vocabulary structures you are targeting.

I started out this morning wanting to target the phrases:

  • Is going to go to (Va a ir a)
  • I’m going to go to (Voy a ir a)
  • Wants to go (Quiere ir)

We started class like we usually do… chatting about what’s going on in our school and our lives. We counted how many weeks until finals (¡3 semanas más!) and then I asked who has plans for summer vacation. At this point I wrote on the board Va a ir a with the translation in English and started asking kids about their summer plans, consciously repeating “_______ is going to go to______” as many times as possible, while going slow, teaching to the eyes, staying in bounds…you know the drill.

Then we fired up Google Maps, which is an amazing tool for a language classroom and kept the conversation going. It sounded like this (but in slow and comprehensible Spanish, obvio)

Sra. Chase: Who has plans this summer? (Someone raises their hand)  Where are you going to go this summer?

Student: Hawaii

Sra. Chase: You’re going to Hawaii! How lucky! I want to go to Hawaii this summer. Who wants to go to Hawaii this summer also? Do you want to go to Hawaii right now? (To Hawaii student:) Which island are you going to go to? 

Student: Maui

Sra. Chase: Class, who wants to go to Maui? Let’s go to Maui! (Zooms there with Google Maps, using the satellite view) Ohh, look how beautiful it is! Do you want to go to the beach (Zooms into the beach).

Then grab the little yellow dude in the bottom corner and drag him on to your map. maps 1

Drop him anywhere there’s a blue line and now you’ve got the street view, which if you haven’t played with street view yet, prepare to be amazed!

maps 2

Ta dah!

Maps 3.png

Basically you’ve got a Picture Talk that you can move…click around and the camera will move where you want to go. Kids do you want to go to the left or the right? Do you want to go to the beach or the mountain? Class, look up! Class, look down!  You can look at stores, make up stories about the people you see, we even ended up in a hotel room in Spain.  (No idea how that happened and I was a little nervous to swing around to the other side of the room because I was afraid of what we would find! Luckily it was just an empty bed! Thank you, Jesus! We zoomed in on the electric outlets and talked about how different countries have different outlets.) Have fun exploring with your kiddos, keeping everything slow and comprehensible. Then, when you’ve exhausted that…start chatting with another kid and zoom to another place and repeat…

Who’s getting excited about summer vacation? Me! Me! Me! I’ve got some big and exciting plans that I can’t wait to tell you about soon…but in my meantime, the pictures above are a clue about one of my summer adventures 🙂


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