Google Earth is versatile enough to apply across the curriculum. In fact, an entire series of books about how to do that was recognized by the Association of Educational Publishers. What better way to connect learning to the real world than to integrate the actual real world into learning?
Some ideas: Compare the appearance (in 3D!) of volcanoes, or use tools to measure their diameters and altitudes. Analyze architecture of European castles, or just look at where famous monarchs lived. Turn on the Shipwrecks layer and chart a timeline of shipwrecks in the Bermuda Triangle, or use the Explore the Oceans layer to study marine life in the area. View how Las Vegas has changed since 1950. At Street View, travel the narrowest of waterways in Venice, Italy, walk the streets of Disneyland Paris, or hike canyons in the United States. Create a multimedia timeline of manned missions to the Moon. Starting to see the versatility? Yeah.Continue reading Show less
Google Earth is an interactive map of the entire planet and beyond, packaged inside a program that’s downloaded to your computer. Its panoramic views of everything from personal homes to potential military installations are compiled from satellite images, aerial photography, and 3D graphical information systems.
The program is absolutely packed with interactive tools to examine Earth. Kids can view it, measure it, or create and share original content about it. Street View shows ground-level images around towns, and layers show weather, track animals, reveal shipwrecks, and more. The Tour Guide feature highlights points of interest in places around the world. Many of the same features are available for the moon and Mars, like layers that show place names, terrain, and where Apollo crafts and Mars rovers have landed. They have guided multimedia tours, too. Everywhere you look, cool features exist to explore Earth, the moon, and Mars:
If a location has images from previous years available, a simple historical imagery slider lets you see how an area has changed over time.
Check out 3D models of buildings, the moon’s surface, and more than 50 species of trees in parks, neighborhoods, and forests all over the world.
With tools to create original content, kids can make tours related to any topic across the curriculum with narration, video, and photos.
A good virtual tool permits realistic investigation of things you'll probably never see in person, like atoms or your brain. With a mega-palette of features to probe land, sea, and space, Google Earth is, without a doubt, a fantastic virtual tool. The short tutorial videos are a must-see, and once kids get the hang of how it works, the possibilities are endless.
Kids can learn about any place on Earth: the ocean floor, the North Pole, Paris, France, the Sahara desert, and more. They can observe places up close and turn on dozens of layers to reveal interesting things happening on the planet, like locations of volcanoes, weather patterns, animal tracking, sites for SCUBA diving, or areas where UNICEF is working to improve water quality. Beyond Earth, kids can learn about the surfaces and exploration of the moon and Mars. It's incredible.
Key Standards Supported
Geometric Measurement And Dimension
Identify the shapes of two-dimensional cross-sections of three- dimensional objects, and identify three-dimensional objects generated by rotations of two-dimensional objects.
Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale.
Draw (freehand, with ruler and protractor, and with technology) geometric shapes with given conditions. Focus on constructing triangles from three measures of angles or sides, noticing when the conditions determine a unique triangle, more than one triangle, or no triangle.
Describe the two-dimensional figures that result from slicing three- dimensional figures, as in plane sections of right rectangular prisms and right rectangular pyramids.
Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.
Measurement And Data
Solve real world and mathematical problems involving perimeters of polygons, including finding the perimeter given the side lengths, finding an unknown side length, and exhibiting rectangles with the same perimeter and different areas or with the same area and different perimeters.
Apply the area and perimeter formulas for rectangles in real world and mathematical problems. For example, find the width of a rectangular room given the area of the flooring and the length, by viewing the area formula as a multiplication equation with an unknown factor.
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
Earth’s Place in the Universe
Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.
Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.
Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.
Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from Earth.
Use mathematical or computational representations to predict the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system.
Evaluate evidence of the past and current movements of continental and oceanic crust and the theory of plate tectonics to explain the ages of crustal rocks.
Apply scientific reasoning and evidence from ancient Earth materials, meteorites, and other planetary surfaces to construct an account of Earth’s formation and early history.
Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.
Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.
Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.
Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.
Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
Develop a model to illustrate how Earth’s internal and surface processes operate at different spatial and temporal scales to form continental and ocean-floor features.
Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
Develop a model based on evidence of Earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection.
Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.
Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.
Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.