10 Inspirational Ideas to Make All Virtual Field Trips More Memorable
By: Dale Petersen, M.Ed.
Few would argue about the benefits associated with Virtual Field Trips. Time-savings, budget-friendliness, convenience, and learning value are just a few.
It’s quite a leap, though, to know how to extract as much value as possible from using VFTs in the classroom. Listed below are 10 ideas that can make any Virtual Field Trip an even more memorable and valuable experience for your students. These suggestions are meant to be universally applicable to as wide a variety of VFTs as possible.
So, here we go:
- Help the students feel as though it’s a real trip. Make a travel brochure for students ahead of time showing them some highlights in advance. Alternatively, have them make the travel brochure after viewing the Virtual Field Trip.
- Simulate the transportation to your location. This works best if using a projector in the classroom. Re-arrange the chairs to resemble an airplane. Start your trip by using Google Earth to zero-in on your destination. Use an airplane flight simulation video, maybe from YouTube.
- Create tickets for students, possibly putting a place for questions on the back, so that students can ask these at the end of the trip.
- Create a visual scavenger hunt of 10 people, sites, or pieces of information that you want students to be on the lookout for during their trip. You could award a prize or two for the most items seen, hardest to find, etc.
- Create a passport for students of all the places they will/can explore. Stamp them as each is visited. Have a celebration when the passport is “complete”.
- Talk about typical food choices that represent the destination. Think of one, two, or three food dishes that represent the destination. Arrange for the students to have these as snacks while watching the virtual field trip. Take a vote on which ones to make/eat/try.
- Give students a map of the destination to follow along with. Have students circle areas and sites visited.
- Team up with an older grade (or younger grade, as the case may be) to buddy with for the VFT experience. Students can be paired with a travel partner from the other grade. Together they can make recipes from the destination, use exchange rates to compare the cost of everyday items, or use map skills to follow along together.
- Have students list their three favorite highlights about the destination they just viewed. Share these amongst all students.
- Use words and phrases from the Virtual Field Trip to create a word bank. Use these words to create a crossword puzzle and quiz students on the content. Alternatively, you could create a word-search puzzle.
Foley, K. (2010). The big pocket guide to using & creating virtual field trips. Seattle, WA: Tramline.
Kawka, B.. Burgess, B. (2001). V-Trip travel guide: Classroom strategies for virtual field trips. Eugene, OR: ISTE Publications.