Google Tour Builder is a fantastic new way for students to explore the world. It is a new beta tool that allows users to create a tour just like they would a Slides presentation, except each location appears in a Google Earth window on the screen. This can be used to explore many different topics in the Social Studies.
Here is the sample tour I made for my class, JZ - San Francisco
In the latest project my class is working on, the students are studying different cities within the United States that have hosted a World's Fair. Over the course of the project students will create a Google Tour that will also host various information that they learned throughout the unit. The students are creating a City Fact Sheet, a World's Fair Fact Sheet, a Trip Itinerary, a Cost Analysis Sheet, and a Digital Tour of the World's Fair. All of the items get to be hosted within the home place mark of their Google Tour.
Check out the project sheet here: U.S Trip Planning Green Sheet
The project can be adapted to fit what you are studying in your classroom. This started out as a project where students planned a month long trip to a country in the Eastern Hemisphere. The fact sheets can be made to fit the material that you are researching. Feel free to make copies of the materials, and use them how you need. So take a look around at Google Tour Builder, and allow your classroom to expand its' walls to the entire world!
Google Tour Builder Tutorial