Teaching About Time Zones

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Over a decade ago, when webcams were just being introduced, I was told about a fantastic webcam in the polar bear exhibit in the Alaskan zoo.  I looked at it after school and it was amazingly cool (pun intended).  It also supported an authentic project I was doing with a group of kids about the fifty states.

So the next morning I very excitedly invited several students to my office to view the polar bears.  We logged on to the webcam and…..nothing!  Black screen.  I was so bummed.  The teacher who told me about the webcam happened to stop by, and we told her the webcam was broken.  She looked at me like I was a total idiot (she was one of those very expressive people), and said, “Duh, it’s 5:00AM in Alaska and it’s winter.”  This led to a very authentic conversation about time zones, and sunrise/sunset at different latitudes.

*There are many live webcams in zoos all over the world.  Check them out for some great authentic viewing!

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