I know that for many of you, the website I am going to share with you will not be one that you choose to use in the classroom. For some, you might want to share this with parents, and for others it may become a part of your week before the holidays. I say this, because the diversity of your population will probably dictate whether you are able to do one particular holiday with religious significance. However, I know that I have had many participants in my workshops from private church-based schools and Christmas is very much a part of the curriculum this month. Although I am an advocate of the separation of church and state for all public schools, I could not really see the harm in sharing this delightful adventure for the "Santa Believers" in all of us.
Google is helping to keep our eyes on the sky in search of a jingling sleigh led by reindeer and carrying scads of presents, and a man in a big, red suit. They are making it easier for you to find Jolly Ole St. Nick by once again partnering with NORAD on the 2008 NORAD Tracks Santa website. From now until Christmas eve, you can read about the history of the Santa Tracker, see a countdown to take-off, view updates from Santa's Village, and play holiday-themed games – a new one released each day – at the Kids Countdown link. The fun really begins on December 24th when at 3am PST, Santa lifts off into the northern sky to begin his trek around the globe. NORAD tracks his progress in real time, marking his stops and his current location in Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Maps for Mobile. In addition, strategically-placed Santa Cams feed videos of his flight to YouTube and to the NORAD Tracks Santa video page.
Take a look at the Kids Countdown Link and I guarantee a smile on your face!