Google Earth Tours

I am officially done with my masters. This is the final project that I had to submit. The project was done using the Henrico 21 lesson plan format. Even ITRTs have to use it. :) Thanks again to Jen Travers for helping me get this done!

Google Earth Tours from Frank Fitzpatrick on Vimeo.

Lesson Plan for Henrico 21 Awards

Teacher Name: Frank Fitzpatrick
Collaborators: Jen Travers
Lesson Title: Tour of Virginia using Google Earth
Target Grade/Subject: 4th grade, Virginia Studies
Length: 3 hours

Summary: 4th grade students have researched each of Virginia’s 5 regions throughout the year. The students shared their knowledge about landmarks, physical features, and history by creating a “tour” in Google Earth. Each tour that was created was shared with each member of the class.

Essential questions or objectives: (What are the foundational questions that students should be able to answer after this lesson? What are the concepts or skills that provide the purpose for this lesson? What standards does this lesson address? )What are the unique features, places, landmarks, and history in each of Virginia’s 5 regions? How can I show my classmates places that I find interesting in Virginia?


• COW laptops
• Search engines such as Google, Bing, OneSearch
• Various internet sites that have been used throughout the year
• Google Earth- can be used as a research tool as well
• Student folders on school’s student server
• Built in microphone for recording final movies.
• LCD projector for demonstration purposes
Other Required Resources:
• County provided print materials

Lesson Development:

Lesson 1-
• Teacher outlines the goals of the project
• Teacher shares scoring rubric with students, provides the students access to the rubric (hard-copy or electronic). Teacher should go through each area of the rubric so the students have a clear understanding of how they will be evaluated.
• Teacher should set expectations for using search engines such as Google, Bing, or OneSearch
• Teacher should set the expectation for citing resources that were used to gather information for each pushpin.
• Teacher should provide time for the students to research enough information to complete the project at proficient level. During this time students should be gathering information on each of the places that they are going to mark in their “Google Earth Tour”.

Lesson 2-

• Teacher should model how to use Google Earth. This should included how to search for the locations that the students want to share, how to use the tools for changing the viewing angles and zooming in and out, how to place pushpins, and how to record the final tour.
• Students should be given the time that is needed to place their pushpins on their tours, enter the information that they collected from their research, and record their final tours.
• Students should cite the source, by providing the weblink, of the information that they have included with each pushpin.
• Students should export their final tours to a designated place on VOL2 so their classmates can view their project.

Lesson 3-
• This time is for the students to present their tours to their classmates and for the students to score themselves on the rubric.
• Each student should be given the opportunity to share their tour with their classmates. During this time the students should share the information that they learned about each location during their research.
• Each student should evaluate their final products using the same rubric that the teacher will use to score the final products.
• Exported projects will be displayed on a blog. The blog allows the students to view their classmate’s work and give the opportunity to receive feedback about their work. The blog will also be available for family members and 4th graders from around the state to view and use in their classrooms.
• The teacher and student should sit down together to discuss the scores that each put on the rubric. After the discussion is complete a final score should be awarded to the student.
• The students can collect and combine the pushpins collected by their classmates into one Google Earth File (.kmz) to use a study/review tool.

Evaluation Procedure:
Assessment of objectives:
(Include a description of the student activity or artifact that you, as the teacher, will collect as evidence of content/skill mastery. State how you plan to communicate your assessment expectations to the students.)
• The final product should be a recorded “tour” created using Google Earth. Each tour should include at least one “stop” in each of Virginia’s 5 regions.
• Final products will be scored using a rubric. The rubric covers the entire project, from research to final product.
• Students should have access to the scoring rubric throughout the project.
• Students should score themselves using the rubric
• Students and teacher will sit down one-on-one to compare the scores that they entered into the rubric. After the final discussion, a score (determined during the discussion), should be awarded to the student.

TIPC Assessment:

Research and Information Fluency: The students were not limited in what they could use to collect information. The students can use both electronic and print resources. Teacher only set expectations and guidelines for researching. Score: 6

Communication and Collaboration: Students are presenting their tours to their classmates both live (oral presentation/demonstration) and non-real time (blog posts). While this was not meant to be a collaborative group project, the students still rely on help and guidance from their classmates to complete this project. Score: 6

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: The only limits on the students were that they had to include pushpins in each of the 5 regions of Virginia. The students could select any landmark, physical feature, or historical event that they thought was interesting or unique to each region. At the conclusion of the project, each student can combine the pushpins collected by the entire class into one Google Earth file. Score: 6

Creativity and Innovation: The students used information that they have acquired throughout the year and new information that they gathered during the research phase of this project to create their Google Earth Tour. Because the students could independently choose the location of their pushpins, this project exceeds the minimum requirements of the state standards for Virginia Studies. Score: 5

Click here to see the Student/Teacher Assessment.

Click here to download examples of final products (Google Earth is required).
Click here to download this lesson plan.