In the Classroom:

  • Create interactive lesson journeys
  • Visit historical landmarks
  • Travel through a Novel or Story
  • Create an Amazing Race adventure!

My Maps Cheat Sheet (by Jennifer Judkins)

Smarty Pins

Smarty PinsSmarty Pins is a Google Maps based geography and trivia game. Google generates a random trivia question about a specific city or country, and you must drop  a pin on the correct location on the map. Players can choose from six trivia categories: Featured Topics, Arts & Culture, Science & Geography, Sports & Games, Entertainment, History & Current Events.

Although you cannot choose the location for your students, this is still a fun way to introduce some geography to your students.

Geo Guesser

Game using Google Maps StreetView that drops the player in a random location and challenges them to find out where they are. You cannot choose an exact location, you can choose from collections of cities, countries and continents. Perfect for a little social studies virtual excursion!


Google Lit Trips

From the Google Lit Trips website, “Google Lit Trips are free downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. At each location along the journey there are placemarks with pop-up windows containing a variety of resources including relevant media, thought provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about “real world” references made in that particular portion of the story.”

As a former ELAR teacher, I LOVE this! What a fun way to explore and integrate Google Earth in the classroom!


Tour Builder

Create and Tell Stories through Google Earth!

  • View Gallery of Stories
  • Create Your Own Tours
  • Great for Student Projects
  • Note: Only works in 32-bit browsers (use Firefox or Safari)– I know! Hard to believe!
  • Must have the Google Earth plug-in

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  1. Knew of My Maps and Tour Builder but not the others thanks. Google littrips will be great to use with my students. Need to create some littrips for NZ authors.

    • Jerome Burg, innovator of GLTrips has great tutorials helping teachers and students create their own Google Lit Trips.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Ruth! I’m glad you found some new tools. This is only scratching the surface! Many more posts to come!

  3. These are great. I teach a mapping elective at my middle school most years that these will be helpful for. I particularly like the Smarty Pins.