The following is a lesson plan for using a Google Earth tour as a summative assessment in 7th grade geography. This would be the final project for our unit on Latin America and the Caribbean. The preceding unit focuses on the process and effects of colonization in Latin America, in particular the long-term sociological and economic consequences of Spanish colonization. The goal of the final project is for students to connect the larger themes of cultural/religious syncretism and colonialism to a specific context.
Each student will be assigned a specific Latin American country for which they must create a tour to share with their peers.
A location that is significant during the 15th or 16th century of this country. For example, the site of the first contact between indigenous people and Europeans or the site of an early European settlement.
A location that is significant during the 18th or 19th century of this country. For example, the site of a significant battle during this country’s struggle for independence or the signing of a treaty.
A location that is related an important historical figure from this nation’s early history (this person should have lived before 1900). For example, a person who contributed to this country’s struggle for independence.
A location that is related to an important figure from modern history (this person should have lived after 1900). This may be a politician or someone who has made important cultural contributions such as musicians, writers, or artists.
A location that is related to an important industry of this country’s economy. This may be a particular region where something is produced or it may be a factory or mill that represents the industry.
A location that is related to the indigenous population of this country. For example a cultural center or village where indigenous people still practice their traditional culture.
A location that is related to the modern culture of this country. This may be a stop at a restaurant that is famous for this country’s cuisine or a trip to see a dance troupe or similar performance.
A location that is related to the modern commerce of the country. This may be an important financial region or a marketplace.
A location that highlights the unique geography of this country. For example, a national park or preserve.
The final location is entirely your choice. It should be something that demonstrates a unique aspect of this country. Be ready to justify why this location should be included in your tour.
Introduction of project, explanation of expectations, and begin initial historical research. (In classroom)
- Students receive project instructions, daily checklists for progress, project planning guide, and final product rubric. They will also see an example project.
- Each student is randomly assigned a country to research. The initial historical research materials will be provided by the instructor to control for accuracy and time management.
- Students should be able to fill in the required information for at least two of the locations on their planning guide.
Continue country specific research. (In classroom.)
- Class check in with questions about how day one went and progress.
- Students continue research filling in their planning guide as they go.
Final day to complete research. (In classroom blocking day.)
- Students should have their planning guide completed by the end of the period. Their guide must be signed off on by the instructor before proceeding to the lab.
First day in lab.
- Students begin building their Google Earth tours. Each stop must be accompanied by an explanation and image. Teacher demos on building the tour and incorporating pictures will occupy the majority of the period.
- Students should have completed their first tour stop by the end of the period.
Second day in lab.
- Students continue to work on their tours, they should complete two more stops before the end of the period.
Third day in lab (blocking day).
- Students will continue to work on their tours.
Final day in lab.
- Students will complete their Google Earth tours.
Days 8 & 9
Student presentations and reflections. (In classroom.)
- Student presentations of their Google Earth tours in class.