Oh, I am SO excited to be writing my first ever Primary Chalkboard blog post! I have been looking forward to this day ever since I was fortunate enough to become a Chalkie :) I hope you enjoy it!
A virtual field trip can take students to a far off place and can be planned just days in advance. Virtual field trips enable students to travel through space or go back in time. And they're perfect for those teachable moments that just happen to spring up. Just visiting a website, though, doesn't constitute a virtual field trip. The same care and planning that goes into planning a real field trip must be done for an authentic virtual field trip. With advancements in technology and technology becoming more mainstream, virtual field trips have really changed over the years.
You can have students work through a virtual field trip whole group, small group, with a partner, or individually, depending on your purpose and the level of your students. I have also asked parent volunteers to be the "chaperone" so they are there to help students along the way. One of the first virtual field trips I ever used was The First Thanksgiving. I love how this particular virtual field trip has the option for the text to be read aloud to students. There is a teacher's guide to help you plan out the field trip.
Students can track the path of the Mayflower from England to America. Students can click on the blue dots and read (or listen) to significant events that occurred along the Pilgrims' journey.
Students can also take a virtual tour of the ship and learn about the various parts of the ship.
Students can pretend to be detectives on this virtual field trip where they investigate what really happened in 1621.
Students can drag and drop the descriptions of myths to the picture it describe.
Here are a few other virtual field trips you might be interested in taking your students on :)
A virtual field trip can also be where your class connects with another class over Skype. Students can even work collaboratively with students in another part of the world on projects using Skype. It will take time and planning, but think of the rich experiences your students will have! I haven't done this yet, but can't wait to give it a try when I get back into the classroom!
Virtual field trips certainly can't replace the real thing, but when the destination isn't realistic, a virtual field trip can further enhance your unit of study and help your students make connections.
I am always looking for additional virtual field trips to add to my list. What is your favorite virtual field trip? Thanks for letting me share one of my favorite classroom activities!
Heather from 2 Brainy Apples