How to Teach Geography with Google Earth–Part I

Grade Level: 3-5 (or whichever grade you start latitudes and longitudes)

Display grids on Google Earth

Display grids on Google Earth

Background: None. This is a starter for Google Earth

Vocabulary: latitude, longitude, grids, toolbars, tour, names of prominent lats and longs

Time: About 30 minutes

Overview: Use Google Earth as a visual way of teaching how latitudes and longitudes cover the globe and cross every location on our planet


  • Open Google Earth. Turn on the grid lines with view-grid.
  • Discuss what the bright yellow lines and the lighter white lines are–prominent and other latitudes and longitudes
  • Discuss what N, S, W, E mean in the front of each latitude and longitude
  • Go to your school or home location. Notice it’s latitude and longitude.
  • Have a tour ready for the students to take. There are many to choose from on Google Earth Community, or create your own that is meaningful to students. Have them take this tour, noticing where it crosses the prominent latitudes and longitudes.
  • Have them work with a partner to fill in the following worksheet (finish at least questions 1-5)
    Taken from the 3rd grade Structured Learning workbook

    Taken from the 3rd grade Structured Learning workbook

    • Common problems:
      • Students will confuse countries with continents
      • Students can’t find the country names. Show them how to zoom in by scrolling in on the mouse.

      from the Structured Learning Technology series for K-5


Categories: fifth grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, Geography, Google Earth, lesson plans, teacher resources, third grade | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “How to Teach Geography with Google Earth–Part I

  1. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for How to Teach Geography with Google Earth–Part I « Ask a Tech Teacher [] on

  2. I agree, Google Earth is definitely a good tool for the class!! To branch off of this idea, I recommend using Google Maps to take a closer look at the countries they identify on the worksheet. It’ll be somewhat like a Virtual Field Trip. The satellite view will allow you to do this. Man, I love Google! 🙂

    You can see what I’m talking about here…

  3. Great idea. Do you use it to teach map reading? Google Earth is a hands down favorite with my K-5 students and their parents.

  4. Hi..

    I agree that Google Earth tool is really a powerful tool of learning geography in the class…

  5. Wendy Chapman

    Hi, I would love to get a copy of the print out on your page. Have you made this public information?

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