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Archive for the tag “google earth”

Google Earth- Do More Than Find Your House!


During the NICE- Mini conference, we will be presenting information about the basics of Google Earth.  This session is designed to introduce people with little or no experience with Google Earth.

Basics of Google Earth:

After a little bit of playing, Google Earth is relatively intuitive.  However some people might like to have a cheat sheet. Google itself provides a good “getting to know Google Earth”  that gives users a good starting place.  Additionally, they provide a nice tutorial overview of the entire application.

Google Earth Lit Trips

Briefly, a Google Earth Lit Trip, is an interactive tour through a book, using Google Earth. The students are able to see the different events and settings of the book with their own eyes.

The tour can be used to build background knowledge about the setting, help students keep track of how the setting impacts the story, or provide a visual map of where events are occurring in the story. For higher level thinking interaction, students can relate themes to the setting and explore the impact of the setting on the events.

By far, the best resource for Google Lit Trips is Google LitTrips website, created by Jerome Burg.  He has collected an incredible variety of Google Earth Files, all ready to go for you and your students.

Google Earth in  Social Studies

The use of Google Earth in the Social Studies classroom is fairly obvious, since Google Earth itself allows students to see locations and landmarks that they would most likely never be able to see without it.  However, the use of Google Earth expands even more when you consider the ability to use the timeline view to see historical imagery
One of the best things about Google Earth in the classroom, is that it has been around long enough that their are plenty of lessons and kmz files that are already prepared by other teachers and even experts.  Some of the best resources I’ve found for Social Studies lessons are:
Social Studies Central:  This webpage provides many resources, including this handout that lists many Google Earth Social Study websites.  In particular, at our school, we have completed lessons on the Five Themes of Geography.  This activity was used with a 6th grade class and was very successful. Another interesting Google tour was found in the Google Earth gallery.   Students can see all of major events of the civil right movement in the 1960s.
In addition to self guided tours, there is a plethora of information and precreated tours in which students can use Google Earth to see periods of time or location that would have otherwise been impossible!
One of the most exciting Social Studies  features in Google Earth is native to the application itself.  It is the Gallery  called ” Ancient Rome 3d”.  The possibilites here are amazing, the only problem is that it seems to take forever to download the gallery.  Here is a video of what it is supposed to do, but I would definitely download the gallery much beforehand in order to prevent surprises in the classroom.

Google Earth in  Science:

Like the Google Earth Rome in 3d feature, there are plenty of impressive abilities Google Earth has native to the application.  To start, it is easy to see different layers of the earth or moon right in the Google Earth Gallery.  For example, there are Google Earth Galleries that show volcanoes, earthquakes, and more

Additionally, Google Earth gives the option of seeing Mars, the Moon and theGeoconstellations in a similar manner that you can see the Earth. Within each of these views are various layers and galleries that help you do dig more deeply.

This only scratches the surface of the amazing things Google Earth can do.  Here are some examples of websites that can give more lesson plans, kmz files, and tips.

* The US Geological Services provides kmz files of recent earthquakes.
*  Google Earth for Science Teachers–  This is a 25 page manual specifically for Earth Science Teachers  written by Eric J. Fermann
* Google Earth Science lesson plans written by Richard Treves (a little more advanced)

Biome Virtual Field Trip –  Written by Karilyn Diede-  A great virtual fieldtrtip though different biomes.

Google  Earth in Math Class

One of the best resources for fun, “real world” math lessons using Google Earth is Real World Math.  This site, maintained by Thomas J Petra, has an incredible amount of topics ranging from three-dimension geography,, to estimation.  It has resources, downloads, and lessons all ready to go.

In addition, Google Earth Lessons provides some fun examples of math lessons and different levels.


Google Earth’s Cousin-
Google Art Project

Google Art Project is similar to Google Earth in many ways, but deserves attention all by itself.  Just as you can meander around the streets of Seville, you can also walk through the hallways of some of the most famous museums. of the world.  Google Art project.  Students can see the art in these museums and incredible level of resolution and can gain background knowledge on marvelous pieces of work!

More Google Earth Lessons/Resources-

Google Earth for Educators–  Provided by Google and contains lesson plans, tutorials, tips, showcases, and more!

Google Earth 101 for Educators- This wiki is created in “lesson form” and provides lessons and tutorials


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