Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Summer Homework on Google Maps

It’s time for the Wednesday Website suggestion!! For two years, I was the Technology Specialist at a scwebsiteebook24222hool in Georgia. During that time, I amassed a large collection of websites that I use with my students. You can download my E-Book of Websites for the Elementary Classroom for free from Teachers Pay Teachers or Smashwords, or, you can check back here each week for the Wednesday Website suggestion.

View Travel Map - Raki Family in a larger map

 I use Google apps for lots of things, but I’ve never really played with Google Maps until recently.  I made a map with my 8 year old son, charting out all of the places we have traveled (see above).  This summer, we will be traveling around the US and he can’t wait to see where we can add “pins”.  This got me thinking that it would be a great summer homework prSummer Experience Scavenger Hunt - Freeoject.  Have families create a Google Map with at least one pin a week indicating where they have been.  (For students who stay close to home, the pins could be as simple as the supermarket or the library.)  It would go great with the summer scavenger hunt that I usually send home.  (Download the summer scavenger hunt free from Google Docs.)

My students are studying Ancient Rome and we will be creating a Google Map of places where you can find evidence of the Roman Empire.  Here is how easy it is to create a Google Map:

1.)  Go to Google and click on Maps.  (Be sure to be logged in to your Gmail or Google Drive account.)

Using Google Maps to Increase Understanding in the classroom

2.)  Click on My Maps.

Using Google Maps to Increase Understanding in the classroom

3.)  Click on Create a Map.

Using Google Maps to Increase Understanding in the classroom

4.)  Use the tools to drop “pins” or other symbols on to the places you want to talk about – add specific details and information.

Using Google Maps to Increase Understanding in the classroom

Once created, maps can be shared, edited, and even embedded in blog posts.  Maps can be global or city, state, country specific, depending on your needs – simply zoom in and out.

Here are some possible educational purposes of Google Maps:

- Chart out an important event in history (wars, migrations etc.)

- Chart out the important places in a person’s life (historical figure, book character, author etc.)

- Chart out where fossils of a given animal have been found, or where current populations of an animal live.

- Create a year long map that charts the setting of all of the books you read.

- Create a year long map that charts each time you talk about a specific place (in books, Social Studies, Science etc.)

- Chart and figure out distances between specific distances.

What are some ways you can use Google Maps in your classroom?