The Logistics of Creating a Current News Events Google Map


Last week I posted a lesson with the Middle School social studies students, “News Events Assignments with a Twitst“.

Students and their teacher have really taken to this assignment with incredible enthusiasm and creativity. Since each grade level has started entering current events onto their map, they have discussed, edited, and revised their entries. The printed- on- paper predecessor version of the assignment never had engaged them in the same way before.

I sent out  link to the map on my Twitter Network and within a few days, the viewer count of the 8th grade map was above 500 viewers. Some of them even left the students a comment.


The motivation of having a worlwide audience was a decisive factor for them to work harder at finding AND choosing relevant news events, summarize them better and enter them on the map.

I have had requests from other educators to post directions how to set up a map for your students.


So here it goes: (You can also download a .pdf version of “Current Events on Google Maps“)

Guide to creating your own Google Maps News Events with your students.

Create a google e-mail ( ) for yourself

Create a google e-mail for your students to use. The entire class will use this username to sign in to edit the map.

Sign in with your google account into Google Maps

Click on My Maps


Click on “Create new map”


Enter a title


Enter a description
Choose between Public or Private
Click on Collaborate and enter the email you created for your students while setting up the google account in Step 2.


Sign into the student account e-mail and click on the link sent in the invitation. That will place the map you created in the student account My Maps list.

These 10 steps conclude the set up of the map and sign in accounts for you and your students.

Go to Google Maps and sign in


Click on My Maps, then choose the map you want to edit (the map you invited the student account to collaborate with should show up as a link!)


Click on edit


Students will zoom into the location on the map, where they want to place their current event
Click on the blue placemark, which will make a floating placemark pop up. Click on the map to anchor the placemark to the map. This will make a new window pop up, where students will enter a title, description and choose a color for their placemark.


We chose to use for the:

  • Title: Country the news event took place Description: First line: Enter the category the news event falls under (Politics, Entertainment, Environment, etc)
  • Then enter a summary of the news event (try to use 140 characters or less in an effort to practice precision and focused writing.
  • Enter the link of the article, the student is summarizing. (Click on Rich Text) in order to insert a link into the description area)
    (Thank you to all who suggested this part through the comment section!)
  • Icons: Each student was assigned a different icon/color in order to know who contributed each news event.



You can now use a code to embed the map into your classroom wiki or blog.


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