Lesson Plans

Teaching with Google Earth

Examines what Google Earth is, provides resources for learning how to use Google Earth, discusses Google Earth’s relevance/utility in the classroom, points to wasy to get started, and introduces Keyhole Markup Language (KML), a standard format for storing and distributing geographic data.

Secondary and University Level

All Quiet on the Western Front: High school language arts lesson plan.

Ancient Rome 3D

A Virtual Tour of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

British Empire:  Students examine the expansion of the British Empire and what the various countries in the Empire contributed.

Business History Plan: Global economics is investigated through the exploration of inventions and their global impact as students traverse the globe.

Connecting Cross-Sectional Data from the Red Sea to Plate Tectonics

Comparing Castles:  Students compare and contrast developments in castle design.

Crisis Management with Google Earth:  Montserrat role play

Earthquake Epicenters

Elizabeth and the Spanish Armada:  Helps students to determine the factors that lead to the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

Emergent Models on Google Earth

Energy Consumption Rates Across the USA and World

Environmental Impacts of Oil Production in Alaska

Environmental Reconnaissance of a Salt Marsh

Fair or Unfair Trade:  Students research how cocoa is grown and processed to make chocolate and consider the effects of Fairtrade on cocoa farmers’ lives.

Geological Map Interpretation Using Google Earth

Google Earth, Streams, and Glaciers

Glacier Change

Great Explorers:  Middle school geography lesson plan.

Great Monuments of the World:  High school geography lesson plan.

Introduction to Plate Tectonics

Interpretation of plate boundaries from topography, bathymetry, volcanoes, and earthquake focal depths

Introducing Geologic Map Interpretation and Cross Section Construction

Investigating the Ocean: Exploring ecological provinces using satellite imagery and oceanographic cruise data

Investigating Wind Energy with Google Earth

Landform Interpretation:  Table Mountain

LitTrips : “An experiment in teaching great literature in a very different way,” this site offers lessons for K-12 as well as university-level.  University-level lesson plans are listed below.

Natural Disasters:  Compares responses to natural disasters in more economically developed countries (MEDCs) vs. less economically developed countries (LEDCs).

Northwest Passage

Observing Geologic Processes and Landforms

Population: An introduction to the topic of population.

Plate Tectonics as Expressed in Geological Landforms and Events: Student analysis of global data sets on earthquake and volcano distributions.

Richmond’s Urban Heat Island

Rocks, Weathering, and Erosional Landscapes

San Francisco:  Visualizing a Safer City Earthquake hazards in san Francisco

Selecting Sites for Renewable Energy Projects

Stream Characteristics Lab:  Students look at rivers using Google Earth, estimate the sinuosity of the river and predict the relationship between the sinuosity and the river’s gradient.

Street Child and Finding Victorian Houses in Gooogle StreetView : Using Twitter and StreetView to help students write from the point of view of a character in a book.

Structural Geometry from Outcrop Patterns

The Circumnavigation of Sir Francis Drake

The Boxing Day Tsunami

The Diamond Trade: Examination of diamond mining and the diamond industry from social and environmental points of view.

The Outbreak of World War II:  Students examine changing patterns in international alliances.

The Red Badge of Courage: Middle school language arts lesson plan.

The Sleeping Mountain:  Role-playing scenario n which students represent townspeople whose lives and livelihoods are endangered by an active volcano that may or may not erupt in the near future.

Twenty-Five Interesting Ways to Use Google Earth in the Classroom

UNICEF Big Climate Callout

Using Google Earth to Analyze Rivers

Using Satellite Data and Google Earth to Explore the Shape of Ocean Basins and Bathymetry of the Sea FloorViewing Geomorphic Landforms

Weathering and Mass Wasting


Ancient Rome 3D

Animal Habitats:  Students use Google Earth to explore habitat types

Battlefield Walks

Chocolate and Fair Trade:  Helps students to understand the production, transport and consumption of food around the world.

Climate Change

Development:  Helps students to consider change and its impacts on people and the environment.

Endangered Planet Project:  Students examine the scope of species endangerment

Exploring Time Zones:  Students explore the time zones around the world.

Google Earth is Our Paper : Using Google Earth for storytelling.

LitTrips : “An experiment in teaching great literature in a very different way.”

Migration of Neotropical Songbirds

My Summer Vacation:  Geography lesson plan.

Real World Math: Using Google Earth in the Math Curriculum “Extend[ing] the concepts of the math curriculum beyond the pages of the text” for grades 5 and up.

Settlements:  Students learn about who settled in Britain, where they settled, and why.

The American Revolution: Language arts lesson plan.

The Romans in Britain: Helps students learn about the effects of the invasion and settlement of the Romans in Britain.

Where are We Today?:  Teacher presents visuals from Google Earth and students ask questions in their effort to determine the location.

Where are You From?: Gives students the opportunity to share about their culture.

Where We are From:  Students locate where they were born and where they are now.

Xtreme Geometry:  Students use ski slopes and elevation data to construct a right triangle representing the slope.

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