Project Title: Slavery, Exploitation, and Slave Trade Routes

Fifth grade students in Twin Creeks Elementary School do research and learn about the exploitation of people and use of slave trade routes. Using Google Earth, students study the locations of the slave trade centers, follow the routes the ships took, answer questions posed by their teacher, and draw conclusions about the history of slave trade. Students discover how and why the slave trade started, where it took place in the World, and discuss what they have learned. Follow the Google Earth tours (posted below) and learn more about Africa, England, Brazil, the American Colonies, and the Caribbean. Follow the routes of the slave ships and be an eyewitness to history as you explore the links and do research on the WEB.

We are part of the global project entitled, "Google Historical Voyages and Events," which is a site dedicated to showcasing teacher and student projects related to history. Schools are posting projects they are creating as students study historical events. Some of the projects are teaching lessons; others are summary projects done by the students. All the projects use at least one Google tool. We are pleased to be part of "Google Historical Voyages and Events."

Click the link below to download the KMZ/KML file

  1. You can view this project in either "Google Earth PRO" or the NEWER "Google Earth WEB"

  2. See directions below on how to view in each version

  3. We have converted the original KMZ file, which was made in Google Earth PRO. Now, you are able to click on a link that will automatically launch the browser version of Google Earth WEB.


  1. This file will play in your browser.

  2. Your browser will launch automatically, and the NEW Google Earth will open.

  3. See directions below for "how to view."

  1. This file will play in Google Earth PRO.

  2. You need to have Google Earth PRO installed on your computer.

  3. You will need to download the file to your computer

  4. Then, open the software application, Google Earth PRO, and import the KMZ file.

Download Google Earth PRO
If You Wish To Use the Computer Software Version

Information and Culminating Activities We Used In The Project - You Can Download Them


The "Student Activities" document is found in two places:

1) In "Culminating Student Activity" placemarker in the Google Earth WEB version

2) In the last placemarker of the kmz file that plays in Google Earth PRO.

Sample Questions From The Project:

Elmina Castle, Ghana, Africa:

1) The Portuguese built this trading post ten years before Christopher Columbus sailed to the West Indies. Why did they build this

fort here and what was the primary natural resource from this region that made some Portuguese very wealthy?

Compare and Contrast Question:

2) There appears to be some contradiction from historical accounts regarding the arrival of the first Africans at Jamestown.

  • Were those Africans considered slaves or indentured servants?

  • What is the difference?

Compare and Contrast Writing Assignment:

3) Write a short essay comparing and contrasting the two terms - slaves or indentured servants.

Additional Resources:

  1. The Middle Passage - National Park Service

  2. Slavery and Abolition - National Park Service

  3. Boston's Underground Railroad to Assist People Trying to Escape Slavery in North America - National Park Service

  4. Underground Railroad in American History - Resources

  5. Slavery in America - History

  6. Slave Codes - Slave Uprisings - U.S. History

How To View Project In The NEW Google Earth WEB Version - directions:


  1. You do not need to install any software on your computer or device

  2. The NEW WEB version plays in a browser. If you have a browser on your device, it will work.

  3. Google Earth WEB also works on Chromebooks.

  4. Click on the link for the "newer" Google Earth WEB version of the project above (the first globe image above).

  5. Clicking on the link automatically launches Google Earth WEB in your browser. This works in almost any browser.

  6. This is a lesson prepared by the teacher, and it's all in one, long file.

  7. Because this project is "one" file, there is no need to save different students' files to view. There are no additional files to click on.

  8. When the project opens in Google Earth WEB, you will see all the placemarkers in the sidebar (See Figure 1). You can click "Present" at the top of the left sidebar. This allows you to go through the project by clicking the forward (>) or back (<) arrows at the bottom of the sidebar.

  9. When you click the "Present" button at the top, the left sidebar collapses, and you get a larger viewing area of the project. (See Figure 2)

  10. There is also a Table of contents you can expand and use to navigate to the different places on the globe in a non-linear fashion. (See the bottom of the left sidebar).

  11. Or, you can keep the sidebar open and click on each placemarkers individually. (See Figure 3).

  12. Some of the placemarkers will take you to street level views of places.

  13. As each placemarker causes the Earth to spin to a different location, you can see the following:

        • the location the placemarker is referencing

        • additional images and photos in the top, right sidebar

        • videos ,if they have been included, in the top right sidebar

        • links to resources on the WEB, in the right sidebar

        • citations to indicate where images and videos are from

  14. Watch as the Earth spins to its new location, as you learn about the topic being presented



Figure 1 - Click, "Present" Button


Figure 2 - Sidebar Collapsed - Larger Viewing Area


Figure 3- Click on Each Placemarker

How To View KMZ/KML files In Google Earth Pro Version - directions:


  1. You must have a computer and have Google Earth PRO installed as an application.

  2. Download (save) the KMZ file. Left click on the title of the file (under the second globe above). A new window opens, which is a black screen that says, "No Preview Available" (See Figure 4)

  3. You will need to download (save) the KMZ or KML file to view it. It does NOT open from within this window.

  4. In order to download the file, click the blue "DOWNLOAD" button on the window.(See Figure 4)

      • Choose where you want to save the KMZ or KML file

      • You can save it onto your computer/device

      • (If you are logged into your Google account, you may get the choice to save it to your Google Drive)

  5. Once you have the KMZ/KML file on your computer, click on the file.

  6. It will launch the Google Earth Pro application on your computer. This will look different from the Google Earth WEB version that plays in your browser. Note: If you don't have Google Earth Pro installed, the KMZ may launch in the Google Earth WEB version.

  7. The file will open in the left sidebar. You will see a folder at the top of each project.

  8. Click on each placemarker icon. The Earth will spin to the area where the placemarker is located. (Be careful to click on the icon next to the blue link. The icon is what makes the Earth spin and go to a specific location).

  9. Then, click on the blue link next to each placemarker icon to open the "Info Window" for each placemarker

  10. When done viewing, you have the choice of saving the file to Google Earth Pro. If you don't save it, you can view it again by re-opening the KMZ file.

Figure 4 - Download KMZ File To Computer

You will see the blue download preview button. Click to download the KMZ file to your computer. Then, open in Google Earth Pro.

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The KMZ or KML file will also open in Google Earth WEB, but you must "import" the file into Google Earth WEB. Because it's a KMZ file, the "Table Of Contents" does not work, and you must click on each placemarker to view.

If you want to view in your browser, use the WEB Browser section above.