Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Inserting interactive shapes on My Maps

Have you ever wondered what you could really do with Google's customizable My Maps with your students?  Read on to see if you can find something useful for your class.

My Maps are just customizable maps that you can create with your own landmarks and shapes. You can add images, videos and customized labels with descriptions.  The maps can be as simple or complex as you wish.  

One feature that many people forget about is the ability to create your own lines or shapes on a map.  This allows you to highlight various regions on a map of your choice.  You can attach a video, image and descriptions for each region.  

The maps can be teacher created or student created.  You can also have a base map set up for the students and have them add more information to the map.  They can work individually or in groups to create the maps.  You can have the map fully created for the students to use as a very fancy hyperdoc too.

Want to learn how to insert custom shapes and markers?  Watch the video below.

But what can you do with it if you're not a social studies teacher teaching about geography?

Here are a few ideas I have come up with:

  • Math
    • area and perimeter of various shapes - states, regions of the world, parts of the globe, etc.
    • distances between locations - cumulative distance traveling from one city to the next using different routes.
  • Science
    • habitat or biome marking and identification
    • locations of endangered species around the world
    • locations of various types of pollution or human impacts on the environment (deforestation, etc)
  • English
    • Book tours for characters in a story
    • Writing prompts
  • Foreign Language
    • Homemade version of geoguessr 
    • Learning facts about various cities speaking languages of study
    • Finding landmarks and writing descriptions and images in given language
  • Social Studies 
    • Learning states, cities - for the name of the shape or tag use a clue or a number so the students have to guess before they click on the shape
    • Major locations for events in history - add images, videos and links to sites for more information.