Google Lit Trips

Overview: Google Lit Trips are free downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. At each location along the journey there are placemarks with pop-up windows containing a variety of resources including relevant media, thought provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about “real world” references made in that particular portion of the story.

Using Google Lit Trips:  Teachers can use Google Lit Trips in three different ways.  Consider the following:
  1. Pre-made Lit Trips are available for teachers to use with their class to extend literature, integrate geography and other content areas
  2. Teachers can easily make their own lit trips to coincide with the specific lit studies they're doing in class
  3. Teachers can promote student constructivism by having students (or groups of students) create a lit trip for the book they're reading as a class or independently
Getting Started:

First, watch this short Introductory Video of Google Lit Trips from ISTE

YouTube Video

Next, make sure you have Google Earth installed on your computer.  If not, download and install it.  All Google Lit Trips function in the Google Earth application.

Then, visit the main webpage for Google Lit Trips.  While you're there, check out the following (in no particular order):

  • If you're a "direction reader," take a peek at this: Basics of Reading a Google Lit Trip
  • Browse the book titles with pre-made lit trips by clicking on the grade level links at the top of the page.
  • Choose a few of the pre-made lit trips to download and investigate (I recommend you choose at least 5 that were developed by different people to see variations on how these can be created)
  • Click on "Downloads etc." from the top navigation bar.  Then browse the links "Lit Trip Tips," "Integration Strategies," and "Google Earth Resources."  All good stuff!
  • Have fun exploring!

Create Your Own Lit Trip:

Now, jump in and create a lit trip of your own.  To begin with, you may want to create a "personal" trip with a few pins that represent the story of YOU (ex. where you were born, your high school, your college, where you live now, a special trip you took, etc.) just to get the hang of it.

The following two video tutorials demonstrate how to add pins, descriptions, and images for your lit trip.

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

What will you do next?!  Will you:
  • Create a lit trip based on your favorite piece of literature?
  • Create a lit trip that your class can do together based on a shared reading?
  • Have your students create a class lit trip based on a shared reading?
  • Introduce lit trips to  teacher candidates as a way to engage their students (or future students)?
  • Assign teacher candidates to create a K-12 lit trip for their students (or future students)?
  • Submit a lit trip that you've developed (first FAQ here)?
  • Conduct a Google Lit Trip training for your colleagues?