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4 Ways Virtual Field Trips Can Enhance Social Studies Lessons

April 2, 2017

Are you ready to jump into a new social studies lesson? Virtual field trips can enhance social studies lessons by transporting students to new places, introducing them to new vocabulary words, helping students build background knowledge, and promoting discussions based on observations. When logistical challenges prevent the “real thing” a virtual field trip will definitely come in handy.

The team at Virtual Field Trips has created a website full of informative videos for teachers to share with students. You might show a clip to your whole class to introduce a new unit of study on a topic like ecosystems. You might play a quick video for a small group of students to extend a guided reading group lesson. Or you might share a video with students to watch at home to set them up for a discussion in the classroom. What’s great about virtual field trips is they can take place anywhere, anytime. On this list you’ll find ways virtual field trips can be used in your next social studies lesson.

4 Ways Virtual Field Trips Can Enhance Social Studies Lessons

Transport students to new places that are too far away for a traditional class trip. Using the keyword search feature on virtual field trips website, you can find the perfect location to transport your students to as you examine your curriculum goals in social studies.

Introduce students to new vocabulary words as you work to incorporate domain specific vocabulary into classwork and discussions, a virtual field trip can help students picture the words on the page.

Help students build background knowledge by showing them a video. We all know that students have different life experiences when they under the classroom. Sharing media in this way you can help level the playing field so students have similar background knowledge on a subject.

Promote discussions based on observations students have when watching a video. I love how powerful a backchannel can be to promote discussions while kids are watching, but you may choose to pause at different places for a think-pair-share or whole group discussion.

The team at Virtual Field Trips has lots of great videos to explore. Depending on your learning objective or lesson goals, the videos on this site can enhance your next social studies lesson. You can check out a preview of their videos Exploring Cuba or Galapagos Islands to get a feel for what they offer.

Learn more about Virtual Field Trips by visiting their website!

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Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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