Virtual Field Trips for Your Remote Social Studies Classroom
I love taking field trips with students, but during this time of remote learning, it's not possible to go to public places or even hold class with all your students! For this reason, virtual field trips have become all the rage. For your remote learners, there are so many places they can explore from home. Check out a few of our favorite virtual field trips for elementary and middle school social studies students.
The Smithsonian is having students explore Civil War mysteries through their special app, "Ripped Apart"
. This iOS app will give you Night of the Museum feels and is a blast for your elementary students (4th grade and up) to explore and solve special puzzles and mysteries related to this historical time.
For middle school students that study the Holocaust and World War II, a virtual trip to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam includes a tour of the Secret Annex where the Franks hid, a "video" series of Anne's Diary, a Virtual Reality (VR) app of the Secret Annex, and other resources to read and explore. Studying the Anne Frank House in connection with other Holocaust literature, nonfiction, Anne's diary, or the drama "The Diary of Anne Frank" will help your students make connections to their World War II and Holocaust studies.
This YouTube video will take your students on a 43-minute tour of the Titanic wreckage. Many students learn about this tragic event in school, and it's been a huge part of history. Seeing the wreckage first-hand is even more powerful than reading about it in a book! The story of the Titanic is more than just a soundtrack and a movie. Have your students explore the wreckage along with nonfiction articles and text.
Google Arts & Culture partnered with Ford's Theater for a virtual tour of the iconic theater that became a part of American History when John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. The tour also shows how the theater has changed over the last more than 150 years.
World History teachers and students will love visiting The Great Wall of China with their students from home! The Great Wall tour is free on the site while additional tours are available for a fee. Incorporate this tour with your lessons about China and historical dynasties for your learners.
This is one of my favorite sites! Explore cities and special locations around the world with 360 video! Cruise the Arctic
, see the cherry blossoms in D.C., explore Ancient Egypt
, and more! View the world map
, and let your students explore!
Many students take a special trip to Washington, D.C. during middle school. If their trip is delayed or canceled, share this virtual tour of the White House beginning with the state floor and even peaking into the Oval Office!
One of the best ways to explore history is through art! The British Museum and Google Cultural Institute relate and connect art from the beginning of time to present-day artifacts. Your students will love discussing and exploring this site and immersing themselves in art and history education. Consider sharing some artifacts or images to discuss with your students via Google Classroom or during a Zoom or Google Meet!
If your students are interested in British royalty, why not invite them to see the Queen! Take a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace. This is another resource brought by Google Arts and Culture. Explore the rooms and the fashion of the palace!
Visit towers of wonder from around the globe. From the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Maiden's Tower in Istanbul, your students will go on a 3D virtual tour of these historical landmarks. In addition, the 3D site also provides tours of castles, palaces, mosques, tombs, and more!
The remote island is a ceremonial site characterized by its looming head statues. Explore Easter Island through Google Arts and Culture. This is a perfect introduction to this island 2300 miles off the coast of Chile. Your students will love exploring this world geographical site.
Even after students return to school, virtual field trips may be something you want to continue to use in your classroom. You may not have the budget to send your learners to Spain or South Africa, but with all the powerful technology tools at your disposal, you can certainly share these amazing resources with your students. Don't just drop links in Classroom or on Seesaw, however. Engage your students in a discussion about their virtual experiences, journal, or have them illustrate what they see on their tour or visit. Enjoy these virtual field trips in your social studies classroom!