• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


English - Google Earth

Page history last edited by Eleesha Mund 8 years, 6 months ago

Brief Overview

As technology expands more and more, the desire to see famous places and legendary sights from one’s living room is growing. The one application that delivers these sights from the comfort of the home is called Google Earth. With this program, people with access to the Internet can type in any address in the world, and see a bird’s eye view of the entire city and roads surrounding the address they type in. This site is not only an incredible innovation for navigation, but for viewing landmarks and cities people consider astounding without ever having to leave the home.


Download and Running Instructions

1. Go to Google Earth



2. Find the button on the right side that say "Download Google Earth" and click on it.

3. Read the Terms of Service, and once finished click “Agree and Download”

4. Google Earth will now be downloading to your computer. The download is 32.5 Megabytes, and should take between 5-10 minutes.

5. Open the .exe file (on Windows) or the .dmg file (on Macintosh) and follow the instructions given during the download process.

6. Open Google Earth from wherever it was downloaded to.

7. Enjoy! Type in any address in the top left corner labeled “Fly to” in the text box and it will instantly take you there!

(Hint): There are many different options besides typing in an address where you can double click on different monuments around the world and it will take you to them. You can turn the 3D buildings option on or off if you wish to view larger monuments in 3D.




How to Use Google Earth




Drawing and Measuring:



Placemarks and Tours:



Recording a Tour:



Why Should we Use Google Earth in an English Classroom?

Everyday students read about places they have never been to. With Google Earth, students can travel to those places without having to pay for an expensive air plane ticket.


If students are reading about immigrants coming through Ellis Island, they can take a trip to the island after they visit the place the immigrants are coming from. After a stop at Ellis Island, they can continue on the immigrants journey to the place they choose to make their home. 







Or, what about the Hunchback of Notre Dame? He had a bird's eye view of Paris and now the students can too. 







Reading is a window into the imagination but imagine if the destinations that are contained in books could actually be viewed.  The human brain, according to Brain Based Research, works by making connections and as the brains schema is built the intelligence and memory capacity is increased.  With Google Earth the destinations of the Earth can be instantly traveled to not just in the imagination but on the web.  As technology increases and students understanding of the Earth grows Google Earth becomes an essential tool within the English classroom.  Whether it be traveling with the main character of a book, researching the setting that a book was written in, or learning writing through setting analysis Google Earth can be implemented in many different lessons in order to strengthen students education. 



Google Lit Trips

Google Lit Trips are a great teaching tool that uses Google Earth and is specifically designed for the English classroom.

Check it out here:




Possible Lesson Ideas

  • Have students record tours that follow the path of the characters they are traveling with.
  • Have students mark the path that a character takes. Then, have them measure the distance between points to find out how far the character travels. (This lesson gets bonus points because it incorperates math in an English classroom.  
  • Have students look up historical sites that they are reading about. 
  • When reading Donald Duck or A Tree grows in Brooklyn students can analyze the setting of the book and travel with the main character as he explores the city that he is in.  By connecting the text with the visual setting students will be better able to separate the different parts of the book as well as better understand the book as a whole.
  • Practice setting writing using the Zoom Tool working on starting large and moving to more minute details.
    • When writing about the setting of a particular instance it is often beneficial to begin very small and work the way out or to begin very large and work down to the small details.  Google Earth provides a perfect means for exploring the settings in this way and students can be given a picture asked to write about it and then given another picture that is zoomed in a little more to show greater detail.  The students will continue to zoom in and write about the new details revealed until they have constructed a clear description of setting.
  • Using drawing tools to trace the path of characters such as Odysseus and Marco Polo as they travel the Earth
    •  Exploring the world is a huge learning experience and by using Google Earth students can travel to the remotest places with the main characters of the stories that they are reading.
  • Use both Google Earth and Ning in order to create Pen Pals from other parts of the Earth in order to help students learn about the English language as it is used by nonnative speakers as well as improve their writing
    • Pairing students up with students of different cultural backgrounds is a great way to help them to understand the underlying basics of the English language and using Google Earth can help students realize where they are writing to. 
  • Have students write a story of a trip that they take on Google Earth
    • It can be argued that most novels are stories of a journey and with Google Earth students can take a journey from their computers as they work to write their own stories.
  • Have students bring in a current event at various times during the semester and find the place of the occurrence using Google Earth
    • Current news is an integral part of the education process and in order to truly understand the news students need to be able to connect the news with a location and Google Earth provides a perfect tool to explore the setting of the news.
  • Have students research a certain area (Darfur for example) and write a persuasive letter to educate others on the topic and convince them to try to make a change
    • There is no better persuasive essay than one that pertains to a current topic of interest.  By using Google Earth students can see all of the various areas of scorched earth and genocide that is occurring in Darfur and do research on it in order to write a persuasive essay to end a problem their generation is in the midst of. 
  • Have students use the drawing tools to analyze the trips of famous explorers such as Lewis and Clark as they explore America
    • Using the historical picture setting of Google Earth students can go back in history to the historical works that they are reading and travel with the writers as they explore our vast world. 
  • Map famous battles in the civil war by using Journals as the primary sources detailing the battles occurrences
    • Reading journals can be very hard to teach because of students’ lack of interest.  With Google Earth students can create a map of the history that they are studying and create the history that they are learning.
  • Have students research a specific country and the culture and literature of that country using Google Earth
    • Cultural studies is a vital aspect of our world, and, in order to be successful students need to understand the cultures of others.  Using Google Earth students can see firsthand the landscape and styles of the culture that they are researching.




Additional Resources 

http://cnx.org/content/m32195/latest/ - Using Google Earth in the classroom 





Beyond the English Classroom

Google Earth is a great tool no matter what classroom you're in. There are cool tools that allow you to explore the moon or deep parts of our oceans. You can also explore historical sites or measure the distance between two landmarks. In the English classroom, a teacher has to be prepared to teach whatever comes up in the texts their students are reading. Google Earth is a great way to give students access to learning that is not exactly a part of the English classroom.


Here are some cool (but, not exactly English) thing you can do with Google Earth.






Note** All Images on this wiki were taken from Google Earth

Comments (1)

Anna Bjornson said

at 7:22 pm on Oct 6, 2010

Cool. As I was reading through this, I was imagining teaching Henry James' _Daisy Miller_ and showing students the locations in Rome and Switzerland.

You don't have permission to comment on this page.