Using Google Earth For Field Trips

A few days ago, I attended a workshop that explained how to use Google Earth in the classroom. Since that day, my mind has been going as how to use this tool during library special.

Students will be able to go virtually anywhere in the world with Google Earth, but I’m trying to figure out how to make students appreciate this tool.

I completed a guinea-pig lesson with Google Earth with fifth-graders at the end of the last school year. Students wanted to explore nearby towns and wanted to see where the local grocery store was. They did not seem interested in exploring other parts of the United States, let alone overseas. Students did not even know what country they lived in.

Maybe I did not have a strong approach to this tool or maybe the students were limited with the knowledge there is more to life than their hometowns. Perhaps a mistake was letting students have free choice, besides the assignment. I have revamped this lesson plan for the fall in how I will teach it and what the assignments will be, and I’m hoping students will be more enthusiastic this time around.

Here are are lesson ideas I want to incorporate for the next school year for Google Earth Tours:

  • Students read Peter Pan. A tour of London and places mentioned in the book. Include Big Ben, Kensington Gardens, etc.
  • Ancient Roman monuments. In collaboration with a social-studies teacher, students will complete a tour and then select a monument to make into a travel guide. We did this project last year, but I would like to include the Google Earth tour to help students more easily select a monument
  • Ancient Greek monuments. Students complete a unit about Ancient Greece and will look at monuments
  • Students learn about reading, literacy and libraries in different countries. Look at these cities and countries in a tour
  • So much more

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