I recently taught a summer school session entitled Virtual Field Trips to students in grades 3-5. Using many digital tools, we journeyed to ancient China, Australia, boarded the USS Constitution and ended up on Mars!
I began by brainstorming possible destinations, based on personal interests and travels, availability of engaging digital resources and ideas that would motivate and excite children. From feedback I received from students and adults, this was a successful 16 day unit.
The factor that brought excitement to the class was my students' imaginations, which I encouraged through conversation with them. I introduced places and activities as simulations that we were experiencing. We "flew" using Google Earth. We experienced sailing and pirate encounters via videos. We became sailors through digital and physical gaming. We learned how to tie various knots to rig our sails. We created art under local influence.
Here are some photographs with brief descriptions of some of our experiences. I am also creating a Pinterest board titled "Our Virtual Field Trips" with many of the digital resources we used in our adventures.
|Learning about ancient Chinese inventions. We spontaneously kept making connections back to these!|
|dot painting in Tux Paint|
|poster illustrating Chinese zodiac|
|using Comic Life to learn about Australian animals|
|simulation of a sailor's life abord the USS Constitution|
|practicing rope knots|
|modeling using my imagination|
|treasure hunt: playing a game using latitude and longitude|
|animated app: Barefoot Atlas|
|space station app: Earthlapse|