Track Santa with Google My Maps (and More Great PBL Ideas)

Robert Abraham
PD Account Manager / PD Specialist
News on December 17 2020

Holiday time is around the corner and many students have settled into online or distance learning. There are many tools that teachers have been using to engage their students during this time, and most of them include the Google apps. In this blog we’ll highlight a fun and engaging project-based learning (PBL) activity for this holiday season that uses Google’s My Maps.

Google has provided Santa mapping features in the past to allow children all over the world to virtually follow Santa on his joyful ride — and this year, you can use this Santa tracker as a great online PBL activity for your students.

How to organize your “Track Santa” project 

Have your students plan out a route for Santa. Based on the grade level, there are multiple Google tools your students can use in this project.

  • Use Google My Maps to map out a route for Santa to take during this holiday season. Students can add locations and even pictures with points of interest for Santa to visit during his journey.
  • Use Google Drawings to build out a particular route for Santa. Google Drawings has great shape tools as well as text options and the ability to insert images into the drawing.
  • Use Google Sheets to plan out the trip and track information in the spreadsheet. Locations, distances, fuel costs, and more, can be put on the spreadsheet, and the data can then be filtered out or even graphed for the project.
  • Use Google Docs to write up a route or even compile information about the various spots Santa would visit during this holiday project. Students can use the Explore feature to add supporting text as well as images into the doc.
  • Use Google Slides as a great way to illustrate the “track Santa” project — either use it to document the work being done on the PBL activity, or use it to create a slideshow of locations Santa may visit on his journey.
  • Older students can leverage Google Forms to create a scavenger hunt activity based on Santa’s journey. Students can locate landmarks from various locations around the world, and then answer questions in the Google Form. 
  • Finally, students can also create a fictional blog that one of Santa’s reindeer may keep during the holiday, tracking their progress and travels. 

For more tips, tricks, and tools for teaching in and out of the classroom check out more articles on our blog.

We also offer virtual professional development, training, and remote learning support for educators with OTIS for educators. Explore the technology, tools, and strategies that can spark student success — no matter where teaching or learning are happening.