Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
The world of educational video games was minuscule in the mid-80s, but that didn’t stop us from spending hours trying to not die of dysentery on the Oregon Trail. Then came Carmen Sandiego to make learning geography fun. At a time when film strip projectors were considered essential educational technology, I remember just how fun it was following clues to chase Carmen around the world.
Where Wasn’t Carmen Sandiego?
Carmen Sandiego grew from a series of computer games stored on audio cassettes and played on the Apple II or Commodore 64 to a series of books, comics, a board game, TV series, and more. Carmen’s activity cooled considerably after the end of the animated series on Fox in 1999.
Carmen is Back!
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt began reviving the scarlet coat and fedora-wearing thief in 2015, eventually releasing a new Netflix series. Visiting CarmenSandiego.com is the easiest way to access all things Carmen.
Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego?
Currently, three missions are available on Google Earth for Chrome, iOS, and Android. After being provided with a mission, students travel to the scene of the crime to look for clues. After reading a fun fact upon arrival at each location, students then select one of three landmarks where they will be provided with a clue. Students click on the airplane icon when they think they know where Carmen went. Clicking on one of four cities presented will fly them to their next location to gather more clues.
Follow Carmen in Virtual Reality with Google Expeditions
Readers of Nick’s Picks know I’m a big fan of Google Expeditions. Don’t worry: you don’t need expensive VR equipment for these virtual field trips. Check out my Complete Beginner’s Guide to Leading Virtual Field Trips with Google Expeditions if you’re new to expeditions.
There are currently four virtual field trips to choose from, covering topics like population density, the effects of location and geography on temperature, innovations in architecture, the cultural significance of landmarks, ancient societies. Simply search “Carmen” in the Google Expeditions app for Android or iOS to access the expeditions. Educators can download teachers’ guides for each expedition here.
Carmen’s SEL Missions
The Fearless Kids Around the World web series is a great social-emotional learning resource for students in grades 4-8. All videos in the series come with activities to help students “build competencies in responsible decision-making, self-awareness, relationship skills, social awareness and self-management.”
Carmen Sandiego Educational Resources
In addition to the teachers’ guides and SEL activities mentioned above, the resource page contains a variety of activities and games, plus learning guides for each episode of Carmen Sandiego. These resources can be sorted by age (elementary-middle-high school) and cover nearly every subject area (government, geography, history, art, music, science, math, ELA).