Carmen Sandiego wide hero

Teaching with videogames: exploring countries or continents with Carmen Sandiego

In this lesson, we use the free Carmen Sandiego Google Earth extension to explore the defining features of countries around the world.

Students learn about world languages, landmarks, currencies and more through game play and research.

Year levels: 3-6

Learning areas: Geography

Suggested duration: 1-3 sessions, with an optional research project

Equipment you'll need:

  • a projector, or devices that students can use to access YouTube
  • students will need access to Google Earth and encyclopedia sites like Wikipedia

Download the full lesson plan

The lesson plan includes links to the Victorian and Australian Curricula, indications of lesson timing, and ideas for differentiation and assessment.

Google earth carmen sandiego 1
Google earth carmen sandiego 4
Carmen Sandiego Google Earth 2
Google earth Carmen Sandiego 3

In this lesson, students will

1. Watch and play Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego
2. Consider the difference between continents, nations, states, Indigenous country and contested territories
3. Learn features of different countries including language, currency, history, geographical features
4. Categorise information and present research creatively
Optional further learning
5. Choose a country, continent, state, territory or region that's important to a unit of work, or important to the student, and research the region
6. Present the research as a Powerpoint, poster, annotated map, paragraph of writing, speech, or another form

By the end of this lesson, students should

information about different countries or regions
geographical terms relating to climate, terrain and natural features
history about different countries or regions, including national history, Indigenous history and colonialism
Be able to...
research using encyclopedia websites and wikipedia
categorise information appropriately
present findings effectively and creatively
understanding of the world, relationships between countries, and relationships between Australia and the world
research skills
understanding of geographical categories

Authorial credit

You are free to copy, communicate and adapt this lesson plan which was created by Ben Lawless and ACMI and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.