Lesson Spotlight: Google Maps
Virtually take your students to new places using Maps, a fabulous Google App. Google Maps is a very powerful and versatile tool that can help your students learn and virtually explore some amazing places. It is a tool that can be used for a variety of content areas. This lesson encourages students to explore places all over the world. It will help your students virtually see the world as they research locations and drag out the street view icon and drop it in various locations to get a 360˚ view. If they don’t like what they see, they can keep dragging it onto the map to get a more interesting view. This activity requires students to locate 18 places around the world that they are interested in representing on a Google slide. They must add images to a Google and then set up the image to link to the 360˚ view. They can research what they want to include on this activity or the teacher can provide the criteria of what needs to be represented on the Google slide. Students really enjoy this activity because it takes them to amazing places around the world, allowing them to get a better idea about places they have never been.
I got the idea to do this lesson when we had to be quarantined during Covid. I thought it would be a great way to get students to get away virtually because we were so limited in what and where we could go. I had a great time creating the example product for students. It got me out of my isolation so to speak. The video provided for this unit is incredibly easy to follow, leading to successful completion by my students. One of my students said she enjoyed seeing so many different places around the world. This would be a great lesson for any geography or history class. Topics involving environmental studies could have students locate places that are threatened by environmental degradation so they can have a better understanding of what these threats look like. Language arts teachers could have the students locate some amazing places around the world and write a story or description about these places. If students are learning about current events, they could locate a 360˚ view and have some classroom conversations about the region. Since we can’t always go where we want, we can imagine what it would be like to visit these places. Check out the Lewa Wilderness area in Kenya. You could have your students create a video using Screencastify. Students could give a virtual tour as if they were a guide. If you are interested in learning more about how to use Screencastify for amazing projects, check out a couple of my units: Record Mistakes; Helping Hypothetical Clients
After completing my lessons with your students, I would love your feedback on any of my units. Fill out the survey and I will randomly draw names for another free digital lesson at the end of each month. I encourage any educator who uses my resources to reach out to me if they have issues. I plan on dedicating my time to helping teachers to make their lives easier. I know how hard it is to be a teacher. We have so many hats to fill and teaching is only part of a teacher's job. I think back on my first years of teaching and am amazed how much technology has changed. I have spent a great deal of my free time to become more proficient with tech integration in the classroom. I have continued to modify my lessons to maximize the learning experience of my students. I find it challenging and very exciting. You can see student comments by visiting this link.