Teaching Tip: Virtual and Remote-Friendly Field Trips

In Levels 1-5 of the Confidence and Connections book series, Lesson 9 is a “Field Trip Day”.  This lesson falls right after the Lesson 8 mid-term Progress Check and is an excellent way for you and your student(s) to celebrate by doing something together that is different, fun and allows them to practice their spontaneous speaking in a different setting.

The Confidence and Connections Teacher Books have instructions and suggested locations for doing these field trips in person. If you are having classes online with your student(s), it might seem difficult to do this kind of activity. However, there are endless ways to go on amazing field trips with your student(s) virtually as well! 

Virtual and Remote-Friendly Field Trips:

Tour Your Hometowns on Google Earth or Google Maps: 

Google Earth is an amazing online tool for exploring real images of cities, towns, and landmarks around the world.  As the teacher, you can go to https://earth.google.com/ or https://www.google.com/maps and share your screen with your student(s).  Then, have your student(s) tell you the name of their hometown or an address where they live or used to live. Once you enter the location in the search bar, you will magically be transported there virtually!  Your student(s) can then guide you orally through the town and show you places that are important to them – for example, their childhood home, where their family members or friends live, special places and landmarks in their town, etc. This can be an especially fun way to practice giving directions.  Then, give your student(s) a tour of your hometown as well!

Tour a Virtual Museum or Park:

There are many museums and Parks that offer virtual tours online.  Before your field trip, work with your student(s) to choose a museum or park that is of interest to them.  Then, use your field trip day to explore. This webpage offers many ideas for these kinds of virtual tours:  Virtual Tours.  The website Secret Door is also a fun online tool where you click on a door and are virtually taken to random parts of the world: under the sea, museum rooms, countryside landscapes, national parks, etc. You can use this to get your student(s) to talk about what they see, where it is, what life is like, etc.

  •  Explore a Website Together:

Another easy virtual field trip can be to explore a website that is of interest to you and your student(s) together. As the teacher, you can screen-share while your student shows you around the website of their employer, their children’s school, one of their favorite shops, restaurants, etc.

  •  Watch a Short Video or Read a Short Article Together:

Ask your student(s) to suggest a topic for a short video or article that they are interested in and that you can watch or read together. Then, spend the rest of the session talking about it.

  •  Have Your Student(s) Teach You Something:

It can be a great confidence-booster for your student(s) to practice English talking about something they know very well and are skilled at.  For example, they could teach you a skill they have such as cooking, playing an instrument, making something, drawing, etc.

  •  Invite a Guest Speaker to Your Class:

Do you have a friend or contact that can come to class and talk with your student(s) about something that is of interest to them?  Invite them to join you and encourage your student(s) to get to know them by asking lots of questions!

  • Show and Tell:

Encourage your student(s) to identify and talk about something that is important to them. It can be a real object from their home that they show to the camera and talk about. Or, it could be photos or something online that they would like to share.

General Tips for Before and After a Field Trip:

No matter where you and your student(s) decide to “go” on a field trip, you can always follow these general tips for getting the most out of the experience:

  1.  Before the field trip, talk about what you are going to do ahead of time and brainstorm vocabulary words they will need to use and questions they can ask during the field trip.
  2. After the field trip, talk about what you did together and any new words they learned or new experiences they had.

Let us know if you try out any of these virtual/remote-friendly field trip ideas with your student(s) and any other ideas you come up with together!

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