Applied Digital Skills – Guide to an Area: World War 1 Lesson Notes #AppliedDigitalSkills #growwithgoogle @GoogleForEdu

I love maps. There are tons of great mapping resources out there: Google Earth, Maps, and Streetview to name a few. Google MyMaps is another one that allows us to annotate pretty significantly. 

Screen-Shot-2018-12-20-at-9.59.22-AM.pngWhen I first rolled out MyMaps to my middle school social studies classes, one student went home and immediately traced out the 50 states!

Wow, I wish I had that kind of time and energy!

MyMaps has been well received as a useful tool in my social studies classroom for increasing our understanding of geographic factors on historical events. As you have probably gathered, I could go on and on about MyMaps… but this post focuses on using these awesome Geo tools in a little different way supported by Google’s Applied Digital Skills program.


This school year I have been using Google’s Applied Digital Skills program to teach my Social Studies students. I began with the If-Then Adventure Story Lesson and remixed it with a geeky-process of creating our own app about the Ellis Island Immigration Process. Next, I taught students about researching with trusted content by using the Research and Develop a Topic Lesson.


When my classes studied World War 1, I used the Guide to an Area Lesson to pre-teach the content. Rather than guide a random area of interest, this lesson was remixed to support research and a geographic understanding of Places and Events that were significant to our study of World War 1. We used Lesson 1 and Lesson 4 to gather data in a spreadsheet (Lesson 1) and import the data into a Google MyMap (Lesson 4). Lesson 2 and 3 are great but time was an issue and I needed to modify the accordingly.


Here are the particular steps I gave my students to adopt the Applied Digital Skills Lesson as a relevant resource in my classroom.

To begin have students…

  1. Go to the Applied Digital Skills website.
  2. Log in
  3. Select “I am a Student”
  4. Enter this course code: __________
  5. Begin the “Guide to an Area Lesson”

Lesson 1

Students completed Videos 1 and 2 and when they got to video 3 they modified their spreadsheet using my notes.

Video 3 NOTES

  1. TITLE your Spreadsheet: “Guide to an Area: World War 1 Places and Events”
  2. Column Headings: Location/Event Name, Address, Description, Category, Date, Source 1, Source 2, Google Maps URL
  3. YOU NEED  to identify information for the locations/events provided in class, with a MINIMUM OF ONE EVENT PER YEAR FROM 1914-1919. Use your Prentice Hall: America History of Our Nation (textbook) pages 706-711, the map on page 719, and page 724. For example, page 707 starts with the “Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.”
  4. Continue to find detail about each location through a Google Search. Keep track of your sources in the Sources columns. Every event must have two sources.
  5. Continue to Lesson 4 in Applied Digital Skills.

Completed steps for Video 3 look something like this:

Screen Shot 2018-12-20 at 10.13.15 AM
I had to have conversations with my students about spreadsheet cells and how text is “hidden” when not wrapped. Students then followed the steps in Lesson 4 about how to “Make a Custom Map” which explained the process of importing the spreadsheet into Google MyMaps.

Screen Shot 2018-12-20 at 10.35.12 AM


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