Using Google My Maps as a Student or Classroom Ice Breaker

The first fews weeks of school are challenging as everyone starts a new beginning. I have old brain cells and one challenge for me working at the Middle School Level is remembering 100’s of students names. I thought creating a Google My Map as an Ice Breaker may help with this issue. The Google My Map Ice Breaker also serves the function of finding a connection for building relationships with the student. This activity is perfect to use as classroom or faculty ice breaker for strengthening community.


  • The Google My Map Ice Breaker will open on tablets, Chromebooks, laptops or etc…
  • Students will be asked to drop a pin on their dream travel location
  • After dropping pin students are asked to add their first name
  • Students are also asked to share a reason why they picked the location
  • Teacher starts by sharing their dream location with the students


  • The dropped pin for the location I chose

my dropped pin

  • Why I chose this location

Why Location chosen


  • Open Google My Map from your Google APPS for Education My Drive

Open Google My Map

  • My Map will be added to My Drive
    • Share the link
    • or Open on one device for sharing the activity
  • Give it a title along with directions
    You can use the title area to present question

Google My Map Name and Share

  • Use the select items tool to drag map until the location is found
    • Students can also do a search
  • Use the pin tool
    • Drag to location of choice

Select & Drag

  • Window opens after pin is dropped
    • Type answers here
    • Window opens 
      • Use pencil tool to edit answers

Use Pencil Tool to edit

  • Click here to change the color of pin

color of pin



Google My Maps Creating a Polygon Shape for Comparing State Boundaries

Today I’m sharing the directions for making the polygon shape used in the Where in the World Google My Maps Interactive Social Studies Activity Post” . The polygon shapes can be used for many different activities created with Google My Maps. A few uses for this tool is mentioned towards the bottom of this post.

In Google My Drive Click on New Followed by Clicking on My Map

Polygon 1

 Start by Clicking the Satellite Base Map

Polygon 2

Click the Line Tool

Click line tool

 Slowly Click Around the Border of the State

Google My Maps Polygon Shape

  1. Click the line tool
  2. Slowly click around the border of the state
  3. To Finish the Polygon shape click the first circle
  4. Type the state
  5. Can type info ~ historical, geographic, or fiction (from a story)

How Can the Polygon Tool be Used?

Polygon compare

  1. Compare the size of states
  2. Compare the size of countries
  3. Use to support historical discussions
  4. Can use to create math problems
  5. Create a visual journey taken by characters in a book
    1. Students can use for creating travel log projects
      1. based on history
      2. based on an ELA Reading

Where in the world Google My Maps Interactive Social Studies Activity for the classroom

I recently discovered the versatility of using Google My Maps as an interactive exploration activities for nurturing students abilities to follow directions. Google My Map could be a fun way for the students to explore different content areas. It provides multiple ways for differentiating activities.

This video demonstrates a few activities which could be used as a pre-assessment of content area along with critical thinking  skills. One thing I like about both of these activities is student data is automatically recorded on one map or in one spreadsheet.


Click here to Copy the Activity