Activity Array

Here you'll find an array of activities for elementary children that can be used in Children's Ministry, after-school programs, in the classroom and by homeschoolers.

Google Earth Habitat Unit

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I wrote this unit while taking a Google Earth class for Heritage University.  I post it for teachers, not those who are taking the course.  The project features the Steppe Habitat, but this could be changed to any habitat.

Google Earth STEPPE Climate Assignments:

  1. We will be studying the Steppe climate on Google Earth Pro. Please make sure that you have the following downloaded:
    1. Google Earth Pro
    2. World Koppen, which is a climate layer that you will need to add. To add go to this site:              (Scroll down and note the known and suspected errors.)  You will find the link needed in the 6th paragraph which says:  “Two GoogleEarth layers (*.kml) of the map are available basic info version and detailed info version. Save  link to your computer and open the kml file in GoogleEarth. [Thanks to Gerrit Hendriksen for the detailed info version].”  Open you Google Earth Pro, then select the Detailed Info Version.  This will automatically show on your Google Earth Pro and save to your Temporary My Places folder.  Go to your My Places and Add a folder, title it More Layers.  Go to your Temporary My Places Folder grab the World Koppen addition and move it to your new More Layers folder.   You can click this on and off like the other layers down below.
  1. Participate in a tutorial for Google Earth. Besides our class tutorial you can watch the following:
    1. Navigate in Google Earth:
  • Set Place marks:
  1. Open Google Earth Pro. Turn on both the World Koppen layer under My Places More Layers and the layers:  Borders and Labels, Terrain, and maybe Roads.  Explore the Steppe climates of the world, BSh (orange),  and comparing it with BSk (light tan).   You will be making notes of your exploration in your journal.  You will be turning these in, so make them neat.  To assist you in this make the following table in your journal:
State or Country Region Climate type Geology observations Flora observations  in natural country Flora observations in town/rural


For each area of the world you choose, in your journal note the region (what part [N/S/E/W/central ] of what state or country)Zoom on an orange or tan layer then turn off the World Koppen layer to see the area’s terrain.  Note your geological observations; the form of the land (Is it flat? Are there hills, mountains, rock, etc?)  Also note your flora observations; the type of plant life.  (Are there lots of trees or small shrubs?  Do you see any differences on the edge of a water source or in a town?)  View at least 4 areas of each (4 different areas in the world of BSh (orange) and 4 areas of BSk (light tan).

  1. Go to the following websites and research what the Steppe climate is, what plants and animals often live there, and what the geography of that area looks like. Compare and contrast what you learned here to what you observed on Google Earth.  Write a couple paragraphs stating your comparisons.
    1. Steppe description, flora and animal (see the side bar for specifics) and and
    2. Historical notes:
    3. Video 1:
    4. Video 2:
    5. Video 3: Habitat and life —
  2. Choose one area which you explored and include the following information in your notes. List the sources for your information and cite the source for each note.  You will be including this information in a research paper.
    1. What is the area you chose? State its country and specific region.
    2. What is the climate type? Describe what that means.  Describe the temperature and precipitation for each of the seasons.
    3. Describe geological features in that area which you observed from Google Earth and add descriptions you found online in regard to that specific area. Include the type of soil.  Is it fertile?
    4. Describe the flora density which you observed from Google Earth. Add a list of natural plant life that abounds in that area from your research online or in a book.  (You do not need to include all the plant life.  Just include the major varieties.)
    5. From your online or book sources, what kinds of animals live there? Include at least three native reptiles, three native birds, and three native mammals.
    6. What is the population density per square mile?
    7. What are the water sources for life there?
    8. What type of farming do people do there, if any?
    9. In Google Earth zoom into a natural (native land) portion of your area. Make sure the Places, 3D Buildings, and Labels Layers are turned on.  Place 3 Placemarks showing geological features or areas of interest.  Make Google Earth image and save it.  Do the same for a rural town in your area.  In the town your Placemarks should include items of interest.  Incorporate both of these images in your paper.

  1. Write and turn in a research paper including the above information. The rough draft is due ___________.  The final draft is due ______________.
  2. The paper should include the following:
    1. Title page including the Title of the paper, the region area studied, date, and author
    2. Introductory paragraph
    3. Body including sections or paragraphs on each of the areas above, including the climate, geological features, flora, fauna (animals), population, and water sources. Be sure to note the sources of your information using superscript letters or numbers.  For example:   According to ….. land.3
    4. Google earth images (as stated above in 5.i.) where they best fit in your paper. For example, your natural land image may relate best to your geological feature paragraph or section and should be placed there, whereas your rural town image may relate best to your section or paragraph on population and should be incorporated in that section.
    5. Conclusion
    6. Biography, which lists the sources.
  3. Complete Quiz

Quiz                      Google Earth Steppe Climate

  1. Which option describes a Steppe climate:
    1. Temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year and the area receives at least 20 inches of rain a year. There is a lot of vegetation.
    2. Temperatures are hot during the day and cold at night. Very little rain falls.  The soil is dry.  Vegetation is sparse.
    3. Temperatures vary with the season. Precipitation may average 5-16 inches a year, but most falls during the winter months.  Vegetation is sparse and includes sagebrush and grasses.
    4. Temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year. There are forests, woodlands, and shrub vegetation.  Rainfall is mostly in the winter and spring.
  2. Which animals might you find in the Steppe habitat?
    1. rattlesnake, fox, antelope, falcon, lizard
    2. bear, deer, porcupine, moose
    3. monkey, anaconda, tapir, parrot
    4. starfish, seal, walrus, frog
  3. Which map shows where you might find the Steppe habitat or climate?

  1. What flora or vegetation might we find in the Steppe habitat?



  1. Write another interesting fact you learned about the Steppe environment or the specific steppe area you studied, which hasn’t been covered on this quiz so far.




Author: Janelle C

I enjoy planning lessons, directing VBS and child care programs. Children's ministry is my passion. God Almighty is my strength and inspiration. For fun I choose hiking, canoeing, camping, cooking, and reading.

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