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Today's tip is about Google Earth. I love using Google Earth with my students! They get so excited and it is very motivating. Some of my students explore Google Earth for fun and can tell me things I don't already know about it!
I've used it many different ways in my classroom. I've used it in science and social studies. This year, I get to teach both science and social studies so it's nice to have a resource that is useable in both subject areas.
We used it in social studies when we were learning about maps. You can type in an address and look at different physical features found in that area. The students loved giving me their addresses and zooming in on their houses.
I used it again in social studies when we were talking about geographical features. I showed them plains, mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers, etc. I zoomed in on a feature, turned labels off and had them guess where we were. If you use the ground-level or street level feature, students can see the changes in elevation of mountains. My students thought it was cool because it looked like you were walking up and down the mountain.
The other features I like are turning the sunlight on and seeing what happens to light when the sun rises and sets, looking at stars and constellations, and viewing the moon.
This is a view of the stars. You can move through the sky and show the constellations and stars based on what people see in different parts of the world.
My second graders studied the moon this quarter. This gives them a chance to see different parts of the moon. You can zoom in to show craters and places where astronauts landed on the moon.
The last thing I've done with Google Earth is turn on the sunlight. I show the students what happens when the sun rises and sets each day. We talked about timezones and what they mean. My students loved it when I fast forwarded through time. They were so excited to see what the sunlight would look like at different times during the day. I zoomed in on our school so they could get a feel for it. They liked going backward in time too to see the sunlight earlier in the day and week.
I would love to hear if you've used Google Earth with your students. What have you shown students using Google Earth?