Lesson Plan

Google Maps

This assignment pairs research with google maps in a fun way for students to showcase their hard work.

Students will be able to... literally "map" a topic of their own choosing that relates to globalization. In other words, they are going to use the multimedia environment of Google Maps to tell their story and present their research to the rest of the class (and the rest of the world, if they wish!).

English Language Arts
World Languages
Social Studies
Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Introducing Globalization

Teacher Instructions:

Although you do not have to purchase a globalization themed text, it might be helpful to you and your students.

The text I used:

Eitzen, D. Stanley, and Maxine Baca Zinn. Globalization: The Transformation of Social Worlds. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Step One:

Split students into research groups. Once they are in their groups, assign students a topic relating to globalization. Some options for you to choose from:

  • Economic Globalization
  • Political Globalization
  • Cultural Globalization
  • Changing Global Structures

Step Two:

Provide each group with a “sample” article based on their group topic. For this step, it is useful for you to have a text (such as the Globalization textbook I mentioned above) with each of the Globalization group topics.

Step Three:

After you have split students into groups and provided them with their group topics and sample article, provide students with a brief overview of globalization. You might do this step with a PowerPoint or Prezi. Students have a difficult time wrapping their minds around the different steps of this assignment, so it is important each student understands what Globalization is.

2 Introducing Google Maps

Step Four:

Once you have overviewed Globalization, head to the library or computer lab for an overview of Google Maps. You might also perform this step in your own classroom.

Step Five:

Allow students to explore different ways to create google maps. Students can search for helpful youtube videos that provide step-by-step directions for creating google maps. If you are short on time, show students a tutorial.

Step Six:

Provide students with instructions on how to incorporate their globalization research into a google map. Student instructions should include specifics in regards to how much information and research you want them to include; what other media they are allowed to use; and how many placemarkers they have to have on their map to have a complete google map. 

Student Instructions

Process: For this part of your assignment, you will be creating a google map using the research you have done about your globalization theme. 

Specifics: There are a number of ways you can fill in your map. It must have at least 8 placemarkers that contain text, and some sort of reference to other multimedia resources (photos, hyperlinks, YouTube clips etc). The writing must by your own, though you obviously can use links to other text, audio and visual material to help tell your story.

Part of the skill you will develop will be to decide what information to write into the placemarker and what you will leave to your hyperlinked sources. For example, how well can you tell the story within your map without forcing your audience to jump to other websites to fill in the gaps? These are the kinds of important choices you must make.

The success of your map will depend on the clarity of your writing, what sources you use and how you incorporate them, and the overall coherence of the project (in other words, can the reader easily understand the whole idea behind the map?).

You will need to do some research, but that research could include your own photographs (or photos you find on the web); your own interview or podcast (or one you find on the web), a really cool YouTube clip, or an informative website or blog. The only real rules are that the map must in some way relate to the ideas we are talking about in class. It must be informative (in other words, it shows research) and there must be writing to assess. DON’T present me with just a bunch of photos or hyperlinks; it’s how you write about them that counts.

When you have completed your research, start building your google map. 

Create a Maps Engine Lite Map:

  • Sign in to Google Maps. 
  • Click My Places at the top left panel.
  • Click Create Map.
  • Google Maps will open Maps Engine Lite in a new tab.

You can still create new My Maps in Google Maps by clicking Or use classic Google Maps underneath the CREATE MAP button.


3 Troubleshooting

There will be questions. Students might get hung up on their topic, or they may have questions about google maps. Reserve a class period before students begin their presentations for troubleshooting. Survey student concerns ahead of time so you have an idea of what you will need to cover during class. If you don't have time to gather students' questions in class, send students a google form so they can submit their questions. 

4 Presentations

Students will present their google maps for peer feedback. Presentations allow students to not only receive feedback from one another, but also allows students a chance to see what their peers are working on. 

Student Instructions

You will be presenting your google maps to the class. You must present at least four of your eight placemarkers. The feedback you get from the class during these presentations you will allow you to clarify your ideas and build a better map. After the presentations, you will buddy up with two other classmates. For the rest of the semester, you will be helping each other evaluate your maps using the map rating function built into GoogleMaps.

5 Reflection

Once students have presented their google maps to their peers, allow them to reflect on their work. You can have students write their reflection in their journals, or you can have them write their reflection in a google form.

Some questions for students to consider:

  • Was the feedback you received during your presentation useful?
  • Are you planning on changing/revising/improving anything?
  • What did you like about this project?
  • What might you have done differently if you were to repeat this assignment?