This lesson is on a Fantasy Vacation. It utilizes Google Earth. This assignment allows student flexibility to learn about a new location of their choice, conduct some basic research and provide information on what they learned after they explore pre-selected locations. This lesson is designed for students to work individually, however, depending on the need of your students, you could assign this assignment to a pair of students or a group.
This lesson is on a Fantasy Vacation. It utilizes Google Earth. This assignment allows student flexibility to learn about a new location of their choice, conduct some basic research and provide information on what they learned after they explore pre-selected locations.
Background for Teachers
To teach this lesson, you will need:
- An understanding of Google Earth, how it works and how to provide intstruction on it for your students.
- You will also need to choose a location of your own, provide some basic information on it, as well as be able to find that location on the map on Google Earth.
- Basic understanding of presentation formats. You can choose one that your students are already familiar with.
- Utah's Online Library is a great resource for conducting research. It might not be the only resource your students use, but it wll be helpful.
- Basic understanding of how to make a copy and use Google Forms. The students will use this as a self-reflection at the end of their assignment.
Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes
- Students will be able tonavigate Google Earth.
- Students will explore all lesson materials and resources.
- Students will learn about a new location and compile their research findings.
- Students can provide honest self-reflection how they did on their assignment.
- Students will:
- Select their own location and locate it on Google Earth.
- Conduct research on their chosen location.
- Compile that research into a digital journal, sharing what they have learned, including a screenshot of their Google Earth location.
Step 2 - Planning Instruction
Student Background Knowledge
- Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of how to conduct basic research on a location they choose.
- They will be able to follow guided notes on finding relevant information.
- Students will be able to fill out a How It Went form, providing self-reflection on how they feel they did and what they would do differently.
Strategies for Diverse Learners
If your students do not do well working individually, you may choose to assign the students a partner or a group to work on the assignment with. You may consider giving each student an assigned portion of the notes to fill out or have them work together on all of it. This helps to provide additional support to those students who may struggle for one reason or another when it comes to individual projects.
Step 3 - Instruction
To introduce this lesson, you will show your students how to navigate Google Earth. If your students are familiar with this tool, your instruction in this area will be more of an overview/reminder. If your students are not as familiar with Google Earth, your instruction will be a little more indepth on how to navigate this tool.
After showing students how to navigate Google Earth, the students will be allowed to explore the Fantasy Vacation lesson on their own. This is a self-paced lesson that sudents can work on individually. Students will explore 5 pre-selected locations and the associated links with additional information on each site.
Next, students will be selecting their own location to research. There is a worksheet section included with the Fantasy Vacation Google Earth lesson at the end. This worksheet section has a link to a digital journal with worksheets that students will fill out as well as additional pages for students to include other information they find interesting. They will also need to include a screenshot of their location on Google Earth.
When the students have completed their research and digital journals, they will fill out the How It Went form and submit it.
EXTENSION: If you have students who finish more quickly than the majority of your students, you can have them compile their information into a presentation format. Utilize any presentation tools that your students are already familiar with.
Step 4 - Assessments
The assessment for this assignment is the How It Went, self-reflection form filled out and submitted by each student at the end of their project. (Please make a copy of this form so that all responses will go to your Google Drive.)
There are other ways of informally assessing students during this assignment, including analyzing their digital notebook for correct grammar and punctuation, sentence structure and thought processes, but as far as what I will be using and counting toward grades, the self-reflection form is the only one I will use.