Virtual field trips are a great tool for teaching students. Here, I provide tips on how to use virtual field trips and where to find them.
What Are Virtual Field Trips
Various museums, zoos, historical sites, and more put together virtual guides or exploration activities on their websites for educators to use in the classroom and at home. These field trips are a great way to get students to engage in the outside world without ever leaving their classroom and/or homes.
How to Use Virtual Field Trips
It’s important to give students a task before beginning a virtual field trip. This will help them maintain focus and have an objective goal instead of aimlessly wandering. For instance, if you were doing a virtual field trip at an art museum then you may want to have the students pick an artwork or two and write about what they learned or even create their own work of art in the same movement or style. If you decided to do a virtual tour of a historical site or landmark then a good activity might be to have students build a model of that site or building, or have the students make a brochure or travel of the site they explored. Another great idea is to create a scavenger hunt worksheet for them before they begin the field trip.
Some sites might have curriculum already created with their field trips. Make sure to explore the site on your own before taking the kiddos with you. It’s been my experience that some of the field trip pages are not well maintained and may lead to a “Page Not Found.”
Where to Find Virtual Field Trips
Instead of reinventing the wheel, I’m providing some links to sites that have a comprehensive list of virtual field trips and other at-home activities. These are FREE resources for parents and teachers to use.
We Are The Mighty
This site has lists of virtual field trips categorized by interests like zoos, museums, and historical sites. My initial intention was to do the same thing here until I saw this site did it already.
This is a great site for STEM activities.
National Geographic Explorer Classroom
Make sure to check out the “Classroom Resources” on this site. There are some great mapping activities that will keep your kids busy and engaged for quite a while.