Teaching Geoscience Concepts with Google Earth

Julia Baldwin
University of Montana
Author Profile


This is an activity that was developed for a teacher development program to introduce the various ways Google Earth could be used to explore geoscience concepts.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications



Geoscience course for pre-service and inservice K-8 teachers.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Basic computer skills. Basic familiarity with Google Earth.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone exercise.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

  • Learning how Google Earth can be used to explore Geoscience concepts.
  • Earthquakes and seismology
  • Volcanic Landforms
  • Glacial geomorphology

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

analysis of datasets, formulating hypotheses, using computer visualizations

Other skills goals for this activity

computer and software skills.

Description of the activity/assignment

This is an introduction to Google Earth that was developed for a K-8 Geoscience teacher development workshop. Students must first download and install Google Earth (GE). They then explore three different geoscience topics including earthquakes, volcanoes, and glacial landforms.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students must complete a worksheet showing that they have completed the various tasks.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

Other Materials