Google Images - Here are some tips for searching for images in Google.
  • Be specific. Instead of searching for Polar Bears, search for Polar Bears habitat.
  • Click on images .GoogleImages.jpg
  • Make sure students understand that these are thumbnail images. These are for the purpose of viewing lots of images on a page.
  • Now look at the sizes of the images. These numbers are not going to make much sense to students. That's ok. Just have them compare sizes such as in these two exmples. The thumbnails are very close in size, but the first picture is much bigger than the second one: 938x616 compared to 325x338.
  • Have students click on both pictures to see the actual size of the image.
  • If students want a picture for the background of a slide, they should look for a large picture. It is much better to have a large picture and make it smaller than to have a small picture and make it larger.
  • Click on the desired image. There are a couple of ways to save the image. Right click on the picture and choose Save image as, or Copy image. Some images are even draggable - just drag them to your desktop to then place them where you want them.
  • Have students copy the URL when they click on the full size picture. This should give them the original URL for the picture NOT the google URL. Compare: one is really, really long and takes up too much space) to You don't want the one that has google in it.
  • Students should paste the URL into their document to cite the source.
  • Notice the first picture of Polar Bears says Find similar images. That's a great trick to show your students. When they find an image they like, click on Find similar images - self explanatory! Ah ha!

Google Wonder Wheel - this is a visualization tool. Search for a topic in Google then choose More Options. Listed on the left side you'll see Wonder Wheel. If your students choose a broad topic, such as Abraham Lincoln, they'll be given several options to narrow down the search.

These videos will give you a simple tutorial of Wonder Wheel. The second video includes the Timeline tool.
Google Timeline - search google for an event, such as Civil War. Then click on a specific area on the timeline to narrow the search. You'll notice the change as you choose more specific dates.


Adding Images to Google Earth - a code is needed to add photos to Google Earth. Copy the code below and change the URL to the location of the photo. Photos must already be online to be embedded in Google Earth. If you have some personal photos you would like to use, upload them to picassa.

  • Find the location where you want to add a photo. Then click on the push pin and choose the icon you'd like to use. Download these instructions to finish this process.

Adding Icons to Google Earth If you do the Flat Stanley project, you might like to use the Flat icon instead of the push pin. See the Flat Stanley project. In the middle of the page you'll see the Flat Stanley icon. Save the image to your computer.
In Google Earth, find the location where you want to put Flat. Click on the push pin in the menu. Type in a name (in my example it is a student's name) then click on the push pin to see all the possibilities of icons.
Choose Custom Icon and browse your computer to find the Flat that you just downloaded. It now becomes part of your icon set! Click on it to place it in Google Earth.


Google SketchUp is an amazing tool and should be in EVERY math classroom from 4th grade up! Students can build 3D buildings and view them from many perspectives. This is a FREE application and can be downloaded for MAC and for PC. There are many video tutorials on YouTube to help you learn how to run the application.

Adding SketchUp Models to Google EarthOne of our TRC teams has been working on a project called 'Buhler Legacy'. Part of this project is studying Buhler's history, Buhler's present and exploring possibilities for its future. Five sixth graders have been designing eco-friendly structures for 'future' Buhler. By using the following method, they are able to place their structures in Google Earth.
  • Open Google Earth and zoom into the area where you want to place the building.
  • Open Google Sketchup. Click on the "Get Current View" icon. GetCurrentView.jpg This puts the picture of GE right into SketchUp.
  • Hold down the Command Key and press 1 to see GE from above.
  • This video gives a pretty idea of how to add GE to SU. This guy is actually showing how to make the building much like it really is. This isn't necessary in our Buhler Legacy project as we are redesigning rather than trying to make them just like they are. People all over the world are rebuilding their city for Google Earth. They submit their 3D buildings to Google Earth for approval. If approved they become part of GE. We aren't that sophisticated. We just want to make a layer with our futuristic buildings.

IF students made their buildings before adding Google Earth they'll still be ok. They just need to do the first steps in getting the picture of GE in a NEW SU. They can then drag their saved model into SU with Google Earth pic. They'll be able to move their model if necessary.

There is a competition for Google Model Your Town in Google SketchUp.