Tour Mount Rushmore with Google Earth Tours
Make a virtual field trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota and visit Mount Rushmore. You will be using Google Earth to watch a pre-recorded tour of the world famous landmark. Learn all about the giant sculpture and its interesting history. The trip lasts for 3 minutes and 2 seconds.
The product includes a document of about 30 talking points and interesting facts about the historic tourist attraction.
The tour is also accompanied by a PDF file that describes what you are seeing based on the corresponding minutes in the video. This is so you can pause the tour at the given time stamp and let the class know what they are looking at.
For example the document says at, “2:23 – 2:36 – The camera zooms in even closer.
a. Behind the four heads there is a cave. The cave is called the “Hall of Records” and it houses a vault.
b. The vault contains copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, a history of the monument, biographies of the presidents and more.
c. The idea behind the hall is to provide information to future civilizations, which have long forgot about us, about Mount Rushmore and the United States.
d. It is currently inaccessible to the public.
The tour begins with a view of North America from outer space. You are then brought closer above the U.S., next above South Dakota, and finally the camera zooms down to the monument and flies around to see it from a variety of different viewpoints. The angles are chosen so the students can get a good idea of the structure’s location, as well as, its physical relationship to its surroundings. Finally, you are taken back out to a long shot of North America.
To watch, all you have to do is click on the file, Google Earth will open and you will be taken on a short trip to the World Heritage site. * Your computer must have Google Earth to watch these tours.
Feel free to visit some other famous landmarks in the Americas.
1. The Golden Gate Bridge (3:29)
2. Chichen Itza (5:38)
3. Niagara Falls (2:10)
4. Panama Canal (3:02)
5. Statue of Liberty (2:07)
6. Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri (1:06)
7. Mount Rushmore (3:02)
8. Machu Picchu (5:07)
9. Freedom Tower, aka One World Trade Center
Here are some European landmarks.
1. Stonehenge (3:29)
2. The Acropolis (5:38)
3. The Colosseum (5:38)
4. The Leaning Tower of Pisa (3:28)
5. The Eiffel Tower (3:15)
6. Big Ben (5:12)
7. Notre Dame de Paris (4:20)
Tour some African sites.
1. The Egyptian Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza (3:15)
These tours work great with social studies lessons about famous landmarks, maps, cardinal directions, etc.
Here are a few links to some helpful tutorials on how to use Google Earth.
How to Use Google Earth For Beginners – by Rick Castellini on YouTube
Beginner Google Earth Tutorial Videos by Google
Beginner’s Guide to Using Google Earth – by The Land Brothers
Please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any assistance.
Check out all of my PowerPoints on this Pinterest board.
The cover photo is by jbpic and has a Creative Commons license. The photo can be found @ https://pixabay.com/en/mount-rushmore-rock-monument-740713/
Google Earth Tour Map Attribution
Map Data: Google, Image Landsat / Copernicus
Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO
Image U.S. Geological Survey
US DEPT of State Geographer