Speech has always been a fun place for our kids. We get hands on, we play games ( with a purpose 😉), we build skills through so many different ways. Sometimes our kids, as well as us, need a change though, so why not a field trip?!
A virtual field trip lets you shake things up without having to file a bunch of forms and collect permission slips. They are fantastic for in the speech room and or distance learning. This is also a fabulous way to provide some exposure to topics that perhaps some of our kids may never have had. This can help a child start to build some background knowledge in an area which we know is soooo important. It is key to remember that many of our kids have not had the experience of going to the zoo or seeing a shark at the aquarium. Doing a virtual field trip offers these experiences in a different way.
Live cameras share real time ( or recorded if it is off hours ) feeds of zoos, aquariums, farms, museums, historical destinations, etc. It is pretty amazing. I take this opportunity to start with an introduction activity like a ‘scavenger hunt’ to familiarize my kids with some vocab they are going to encounter.
After the scavenger hunt is done, we move on to some more targeted activities. I break this up for my younger and older students since they are typically working at different levels and needing different levels of support. My older kids have questions and tasks to target higher level skills and my younger kids are focused more on foundational skills supported by visuals. Everything ties back to the ‘theme’ of the trip and I encourage kids to go back to the specific ‘exhibit’ to find more information or get ‘clues’.
IDEAS FOR VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS
- Compare and contrast different field trip settings i.e. zoo vs aquarium
- Describe which animal they like the best. Discuss what the animal can do, what they might feel like, etc
- Work on plurals and other grammar concepts. The exhibit cameras are a great opportunity for verb tenses since they change day to day and even hour to hour sometimes.
- You can also make different sensory bins to go along with the setting of your field trip.
You can also use core boards with virtual field trips. As you split your screen ( if you are doing distance learning ) you can have the core board on side and the exhibit cam on the other. You can work on:
- More – to keep watching
- Go – to start a new camera
- Stop – to quit watching an exhibit
- and more!
Virtual field trips don’t have to be a one session and done activity either. Since more exposure means more background knowledge, you can use these activities 3-4 sessions and the kids are still into it! After all, who doesn’t love watching a baby elephant 😉
If you want to see more resources about virtual field trips, I have three pre-made virtual field trips and resources in shop.