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A Timely Google Maps About Dr. King’s Inspiring Life

Have you ever used Google Maps?  Probably many of you have when you’re trying to find directions to that new restaurant.  But did you know you could create your OWN map to use with your students?

Using Google Maps in the classroom

I’m not talking about Google Earth (though that too is great for creating maps…though somewhat more complicated), but Google My Maps.   Go ahead and Google “my maps google” and you’re ready to start!

A Tutorial to Get You Started with Google Maps

In this 10 step tutorial, I will show you how to create a Google My Maps to use with your students that you can assign directly through Google Classroom.  If you’re not using Google Classroom, you can still email the link to the students.  However, to create a Google My Maps you will need a Google account.  It would be best that you and your students already have Google accounts (they are free to set up!).

At the end of this post, there are several important links!  There’s a link to the tutorial in PDF form, a link to the Martin Luther King, Jr. map I created, and links to a FREEBIE and a special Pinterest Board.  Be sure to read through to the end!

creating a map in Google Maps

Once you’ve logged into Google Maps, go ahead and click on “Create a New Map,” which will then let you create your own map for any occasion.  Right before the official Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday I will be teaching my students about Dr. King’s impact on our lives today.  But I wanted to show them WHERE history occurred.  I wanted to show the real pictures and videos of historical sites associated with Dr. King.  Google My Maps is perfect for this because not only can you add your own place markers for the sites you choose, but you can also add images, videos, and text!

Add a Location In Google Maps to Get Started

Let’s get started with adding a location.  In the search bar, search for a location.  In this instance, I searched for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Adding locations in Google Maps

Once found, you add it to your map by clicking on “Add to Map.”

Using Google Maps in the classroom

Now comes the part in which you can personalize this location with a custom marker.  Click on the paint bucket to change the color of the marker (makes it easier to group locations or for your students to see it on the map).  Then you can also choose a custom icon.  I used the filter to search for “monument” and found an icon for it.  Google gives you lots of different icons to choose from and you should be able to find what you’re looking for!

Putting icons in Google Maps

Add Videos and Images to Your Google Maps

Then the next step involves adding videos or images.  I chose to add a video that explains and shows the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.  You can search YouTube for videos, add your own videos, use webcam videos, or use a YouTube URL.  When you select a video from YouTube, students will watch it in the location marker box.

They do have the option of watching it directly on YouTube in full screen.  However, we all know that can sometimes be tricky because students will be able to see the comments left or other recommended videos.  Remind your students to stay in Google Maps and not go directly to YouTube.

adding videos and images in Google Maps

Google Maps gives you the option of just pasting in a URL of the YouTube video as well.

searching for videos to add in Google Maps

If you search directly from Google Maps, just type in what you are looking for in the search bar and a list of videos will pop up.  You can watch them and select the one you want.  If you have a YouTube URL, then you can just type that in as well.  Then hit “select” and it will add it to the location marker.  Unfortunately, Google My Maps does NOT let you add videos from other sites outside of YouTube.  You would have to download the video and add it as an Upload.

Videos in Google Maps

Add as Many Videos as You Need

After adding the video, you might want to go back and add a description in the text box.  You can also add more videos and also photos.  To add a photo, click on the camera icon again and you can do a Google Image Search or add your own.

adding images to Google Maps

Which Locations Did I Add to my Google Maps on Dr. King?

Keep repeating this process for all the locations you want to add.  I’ve added these locations to my map about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthplace and home in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama
  • Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Alabama
  • The Lincoln Memorial
  • The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.’s tomb in Atlanta, Georgia.

To see how your map will appear to students, click on “Preview” to see the preview.

Google Maps in the classroom

How Do I Share the Google Maps?

Finally, it’s time to share the map with your students.  Click on “share” and it will give you the link to share with your students.  You can email them the link or you can add it as a link in Google Classroom.

sharing Google Maps in Google Classroom

Free Resources About Martin Luther King, Jr.

As promised, HERE ARE THE DOWNLOAD LINKS to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Map, My Maps Tutorial, a Martin Luther King, Jr. Shades of Meaning FREEBIE and a special Pinterest Board.

If you would like to see and use the map I created with your students, click on the link below:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Google My Maps

Click here for the LINK to the Google Maps Tutorial in PDF Form.  You will need a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader or Preview to open it.

Google My Maps Tutorial in PDF form

You can find this FREE Shades of Meaning about Martin Luther King, Jr. in my Teachers Pay Teachers store at this LINK.

Also, check out my Pinterest Board!


How do you use or will use Google Maps with your students?

Interested in reading more articles on how I incoporate Social Studies topics into my classroom? Check the links below!

California History? Surprise, You Don’t Know All of It!

Amazing Women in History

Spotlight Focus on the History of Our Rights

California Indians Technology Research Project

Don’t Go Yet!

Are you new to the 1:1 classroom setting? Then you’ll want to read my Valuable Tips for the 1:1 Classroom.

Check out how I use Google Classroom to present at Back to School Night for Parents.

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A Timely Google Maps About Dr. King\'s Inspiring Life
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