Lesson Plans (AV)


AmericaView remote sensing scientists have developed a set of K-12 remote sensing lesson plans to support Earth Observation Day:

Grades K-6: State Landsat Mosaic Puzzle Lesson

The ‘State Landsat Mosaic Puzzle Lesson‘ introduces physical geography and satellite images. In particular, it introduces the Landsat Statewide Mosaic, a composite image of each state created from several Landsat images shown in natural color as would be seen by a person traveling on the satellite. The objective is to introduce students to satellite images showing their state’s natural and man-made features. These might include mountain ranges, grasslands, agricultural areas, urban areas, deserts, and forests. Teachers will identify a few of the most obvious features and talk about them in the spatial context of geography, including where they are with respect to other features, their size, their shape and their basic physical and biological geography. The students will get their own copy of the statewide mosaic map to cut out areas that ‘stand out’ on the map (mountain ranges, the Imperial Valley, Mohave Desert, etc.). The 8.5″ x 11″ full-color mosaic for all States is available here. The National Science Education Standards associated with the lesson are located here for Grades K-4 and here for Grades 5-8.


Grades K-12: Interactive Introduction to Remote Sensing Imagery – Land Cover Change Detection Lesson

REMOTE SENSING IMAGERY GAME

The ‘Interactive Introduction to Remote Sensing Imagery‘ lesson is based on the Remote Sensing Memory game, an online memory puzzle to strengthen a student’s skills in identifying patterns and features on the Earth’s surface. In addition, the lesson familiarizes students with landscape change over time, and the impact of the changes on the biosphere, including humans, animals, and plants. Students match satellite imagery of the same location acquired over the same or two different time periods to explore landscape changes at various locations around the world. There are several lesson possibilities, each suited to a specific grade level.The National Science Education Standards associated with the lesson are located here for Grades K-4 and here for Grades 5-8.

piaThe ‘State Landsat Mosaic Puzzle Lesson’ and the ‘Interactive Introduction to Remote Sensing Imagery-Land Cover Change Detection Lesson’ were developed by CaliforniaView StateView coordinator, Pia van Benthem, at the Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing (CSTARS) at the University of California Davis (UC Davis). She serves as program coordinator for the STEM college-access program AggieMentors and is the chair of the Education Working Group of the California Space Grant Consortium. Pia has extensive K-12th Grade teaching experience and, combined with her engineering degree, she supports STEM education with an emphasis on geospatial technologies.

Pia would be glad to support teachers utilizing these lesson plans. For questions, please feel free to contact by email or phone at .


Grades 6-12: An Introduction to Map Scale Using Google Earth

The ‘Introduction to Map Scale‘ lesson supports some of the questions that students are likely to ask about map scale and knowledge about features, as they work through the other lessons. The national science education standards associated with the lesson are located here for Grades 5-8.

tom_mueller_croppedThis exercise was developed by Tom Mueller at California University of Pennsylvania. Tom is a Professor of Geographic Information Systems and the Director of PennsylvaniaView. He is also the Director of the Peter J. Daley Geotechnology Institute and Director of the California University of Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium.

Tom would be glad to support teachers utilizing this lesson. For questions, contact by email or phone at .

This overview section and the ‎map scale lesson plan have been translated into Spanish by New MexicoView.


Grades 6-12: Google Earth Lesson Plans

The following three lesson plans for Grades 6-12 built upon each other and should be taught as a lecture series. The ‘Teacher’s Guide‘ provides resources on Land Use and Land Cover. An animated PowerPoint presentation guides students step by step through the three Google Earth lecture series lesson plans. All lessons can be adapted to increase knowledge and complexity by adding supplemental readings and/or additional mapping questions. USGS offers an excellent factsheet describing the National Land Cover Database.

1. Google Earth Introduction to Remote Sensing

The ‘Google Earth Introduction to Remote Sensing‘ lesson teaches middle school students how to use Google Earth to explore the area and topography around their houses and neighborhoods. Students create a ‘Placemark’ at their house and describe their town’s topography in simple, concrete terms. Links to the national education standards can be found here.

2. Understanding Land Use and Land Cover Using Google Earth

The ‘Understanding Land Use and Land Cover Using Google Earth‘ lesson teaches middle school students how to use Google Earth to create a simple land use map. Students will learn the difference between land use and land cover, the difference between natural and man-made features, and basic mapping skills including feature identification and polygon/area delineation. The national science education standards associated with the lesson are located here.

3. Viewing Land Cover Data Sets Using Google Earth

The ‘Viewing Land Cover Data Sets Using Google Earth‘ lesson teaches middle and high school students how to view different data sets in Google Earth. The focus in this lecture is to view the freely available National Land Cover Data (NLCD) sets. Students will learn the process of displaying existing data sets in Google Earth used to analyze land cover changes. The national science education standards associated with the lesson are located here.

The Google Earth lecture series was developed by Tom Mueller, Pia van Benthem, and Rick Landenberger, a former AmericaView Executive Director.

Tom and Pia would be glad to support teachers utilizing these lesson plans. For questions, contact by email or phone or contact  by email or phone .

This overview of the lesson plans and the ‎ first lesson plan have been translated into Spanish by New MexicoView.


Grades 6-12: ArcGIS Online Lesson Plan

Introduction to Land Use and Land Cover Using ArcGIS Online

A PowerPoint presentation will guide students step by step through the ArcGIS Online lesson plan.
The lesson plan ‘Introduction to Land Use and Land Cover Using ArcGIS Online ‘ introduces students to the freely available ArcGIS Online software with the goal to teach middle and high school students how to create a simple land use and land cover map of the area surrounding their school. USGS offers an excellent factsheet describing the National Land Cover Database.

Pia would be glad to support teachers utilizing this lesson plan. For questions, contact  by email or phone .


Grades 6-12: Viewing Remote Sensing Imagery with MultiSpec©

MultiSpec-iconThe MultiSpec© Tutorial Series is designed to introduce students to land cover classification using MultiSpec©, a free image data analysis system. Lessons are particularly well suited for middle and high school students in science and math courses. Teachers with PC labs should start here for an overview. The overview explains how to get access to the free software and free imagery. Teachers using Macs should start here. For additional support, a helpful glossary of terms is available here.


Tutorial 1: Viewing Remote Sensing Imagery (PC Teacher version with notes, PC Student version, Mac Teacher version with notes, Mac Student version)

This lesson will guide K-12th grade students in the process of opening and observing a Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) image. Each student will use MultiSpec© software to display and inspect a section of a Landsat satellite image around the school. Students can then investigate how local surface features are represented by Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery. The main steps involved in this lesson include:

  • Displaying and inspecting a section of an image acquired by the Landsat TM satellite
  • Identifying surface features and analyzing their spatial distribution in the local surroundings

Tutorial 2: Unsupervised Land Cover Classification (PC Teacher version with notes, PC Student version, Mac Teacher version with notes, Mac Student version)

This lesson is designed primarily for middle school students. The lesson will guide students in the process of classifying a section of a Landsat Thematic Mapper (Landsat TM) image into several land cover classes. Students will use MultiSpec© software and an unsupervised image classification method. The classification process will be followed by the verification of classification quality and an accuracy assessment. The main steps involved in this lesson include:

  • Displaying and inspecting a section of an image acquired by the Landsat TM satellite
  • Classifying a section of the Landsat TM image using an unsupervised classification method
  • Displaying and inspecting the classification results
  • Analyzing results and verifying the quality of the classification, through a classification accuracy assessment

Tutorial 3: Supervised Land Cover Classification (PC Teacher version with notes, PC Student version, Mac Teacher version with notes, Mac Student version)

This lesson is designed for high school and advanced middle school classes to guide students in the process of classifying a section of a Landsat Thematic Mapper (Landsat TM) image into several land cover classes via a ‘supervised’ classification method. The classification process will be followed by the verification of classification quality. The main steps involved in this lesson include:

  • Displaying and inspecting a section of an image acquired by the Landsat TM satellite
  • Classifying a section of the Landsat TM image using an supervised classification method
  • Displaying and inspecting the classification results
  • Analyzing results and verifying the quality of the classification

Tutorial 4: Land Cover Change Analysis (PC Teacher version with notes, PC Student version, Mac Teacher version with notes, Mac Student version)

This lesson is designed for high school and advanced middle school classes. In this exercise, students will use MultiSpec© image processing software to display and inspect sections of two Landsat Thematic Mapper (Landsat-TM) satellite images, collected on different dates, showing their school and surroundings. They will investigate how the ground elements around the school are represented by Landsat-Thematic Mapper imagery and whether or where things have changed between two time periods. The main steps involved in this lesson are:

  • Display and inspect a section of an image acquired by the Landsat-TM orbital sensor
  • Display and inspect a section of a second image acquired by the Landsat-TM orbital sensor from a later time period and over the same location as the first one
  • Identify ground elements represented in the Landsat-TM image using your knowledge of the area around your school to support your hypotheses on how the land cover has changed

The entire set of tutorials is available as compressed zipped files:


Remote Sensing Flood Analysis Lesson Using MultiSpec©

The objective of the ‘Remote Sensing Flood Analysis Lesson’ is to analyze a flood event that occurred in southern Indiana and Illinois in June of 2008. You will use a freeware tool on mygeohub.org titled MultiSpec© to view a portion of the area that was flooded and determine the area that the flood covered. The lesson was developed for middle and high school.


The Viewing Remote Sensing Imagery with MultiSpec© tutorLarry_Biehl_Photo (1)ials were developed by the University of Georgia Chapter of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) and Larry Biehl, the Systems Manager of the Purdue Terrestrial Observatory. Larry also developed the Flood Analysis Lesson. He would be glad to support teachers utilizing these lesson plans. For questions, please feel free to contact by email or phone at .