In the second half of September’s Tinker Group meeting, we used the Google Earth app to explore the world. Have you ever wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower or roam the halls of the White House? With Google Earth, these adventures are only a finger tap away. Google Earth is an interactive map of the globe that is composed of satellite images and aerial photography. Although the mobile app is simpler and easier to navigate for younger audiences, you can also use Google Earth on a computer if you do not have iPads available.
One way to incorporate using Google Earth into a library program is to have your participants complete a scavenger hunt. You can make this appropriate to a variety of age levels by adjusting your clues. Here are two examples of differentiated clues; one for kindergarten through first or second grade (World Famous Landmarks: Jr. Explorers), and one for second through fifth graders (World Famous Landmarks: Explorers).
Once participants have solved a clue, they can type the name of the landmark into the search bar in the upper right corner.
To get a better view, enter “Street View” by dragging the orange figure in the right corner on top of where you want to go.
In street view, tap in the direction you would like to travel to move around.
Each child can track his or her progress around the world on a passport by placing a sticker on their globe “Passport to the World” as they visit landmarks.
For those expert explorers who finish quickly, they can also explore unique land formations and other anomalies with this slightly more challenging hunt (Weird and Wonderful Places).
Have fun exploring the world with your patrons!
Kerry Devitt, Lisle Library District, firstname.lastname@example.org