Make a Book Map with Google Maps

I was filling in for my son’s teacher in 3rd grade yesterday (no substitute). One activity I facilitated was their prepared book talks. The students had four minutes to talk to their classmates about a book they enjoyed and why they should read it too.

I noticed that a few of the books that were shared had specific locations for the settings. We decided to make a book map using My Maps from Google to highlight the settings in which these texts took place. Here is how it works:

  1. Go to and give your map a name, such as “Book Map”.
  2. Select the marker tool and place pins on the locations of your books shared.
  3. Add the title and author of the book to the heading.
  4. Add a photo of the cover of the book by doing a Google image search within the marker menu.
  5. If you’d like, find a URL to the book’s Amazon or author page and paste it into the pin’s description.

Now you have a book map! This map can be shared with other teachers and students the same way you would share a Google Doc. They can add to the map during the school year. One idea to take further: Add another layer of markers/pins of locations of books that you want to read. You can change the pin colors to differentiate between the two layers.

Below are a few screenshots of the start of our book map.

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 8.04.21 AM.png

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 8.04.43 AM.png

Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is an 18-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th-grade teacher in Rudolph, WI. He now serves as an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District ( Matt also teaches online graduate courses in curriculum design and instructional leadership for the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD ( and Lead Literacy (

9 thoughts on “Make a Book Map with Google Maps”

  1. Great use of maps…and the inevitable need to fill in for others. Flexible thinking and a meaningful toolbox can help teachers -from any room in the school- create innovative lessons that extend everyday learning. I love creating a “new twist” lesson then coaching classroom teachers to continue(to add to the map) or adapt.
    Thanks for yet another example of reading and leading.

    Liked by 1 person

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