Language Arts

Google Lit Trips

Help students better understand great literature in a very different way, through the use of Google Earth.  Students will travel with characters from books to locations told about in the stories.  The placemarks provide a rich addition to understanding the book.

Learning Activity: Download and Travel Along a Google Lit Trip

On the Google Lit Trips Site click on the link for Lit Trips Downloads, etc. in the top menu and then click on: My_Brother_Sam.kmz  This will open a window which asks if you want to Open, Save or Cancel.  Click Open.  If it saves it to your computer, you may need to double click on it to open it in Google Earth. A .kmz file is a special Google Earth file which opens in Google Earth.  This file will provide a tour, based on the book, My Brother Sam is Dead.  You can also select an alternative file based on your grade level and interest.  You are encouraged to explore, and download different .kmz files.  They download quickly.  The GoogleLit site has created a guide for educators called, The Basics of Viewing a Google Lit Trip.pdf which you can find under the Home page’s Google Lit Trip Tips heading. This three page .pdf will guide educators into how to download and view and navigate between placemarks in the Lit Trip. 

Note: you must have Google Earth installed in able to open a .kmz file.  When you open the .kmz file, Google Earth will launch if it's not already running.

Learning Activity: Create Your Own Google Lit Trip

Since the heart of a Google Lit Trip is marking the locations of a story’s settings, simply make certain that the story is set in locations that can be found in Google Earth. Thus, Dante’s Inferno and The Hobbitt are out. Make Way for Ducklings and The Kite Runner are in.  Another basic consideration is whether the characters “travel enough.” If the story line does not move around a bit, there is little potential value in creating a Lit TRIP. The range of the trip is not important. The Google Lit Trip for Candide has the characters globe trotting over three continents while the Lit Trip for Make Way for Ducklings has its characters traveling entirely within the city of Boston. But, some movement is necessary. Stories like Of Mice and Men or To Kill A Mockingbird pose problems since although the locations can be found, the characters spend the vast majority of their respective stories in a relatively static location. From: This link is the guide from the Google Lit Trips site which explains the steps and items to consider in creating a Google Lit Trip.  Please visit the Placemarks tab for additional tips for creating guided tours such as a Google Lit Trip.

Poetry with Google Earth (opens a new Weebly page)

Additional Resources

10 Places Tour - Students have started a tour company for other students.  This tour can travel to any place in Google Earth (think creatively).  Students will create a folder in Places and into this folder add placemarks for 10 locations they'll like to visit.  Into each placemark students will write two paragraphs describing the location and through their writing, explain why each location has been included in the tour.  For extra credit, students can include an image, video, or informational hyperlink.  Activity can be done individually or in small groups.


Places/quotes from Shakespeare
Travels of Odysseus
Around the World in 80 Days
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Oliver's Journey and Global Art and the World we WantFrom Google Earth Lessons blog

Michigan Content Expectations for Language Arts
Grades K-8.pdf
High School.pdf