12 Jul

Virtual Field Trips

I’m spending a lot of time traveling this summer.  So far, I’ve spent a lot of time all over New Mexico.

I’ve sledded down the dunes of White Sands National Monument.

I’ve been to the National Solar Observatory at Sunspot, NM.


I’ve climbed into the cave dwellings at Bandelier National Monument.


I’ve had adventures.  Many of my students have never seen the ocean when we live a short 2 hours drive from it.  How can I share my adventures with my class in a way that doesn’t just say “Look at how rich I am that I get to travel all over the world”?

I think we start by finding new, interesting places together.  A lot of zoos and aquariums have live webcams so students can watch the animals in action.  You can also view amazing pieces of art and historical artifacts online.  Where do we want to go together?  Let’s figure out a way to do it for free online.

As appropriate, let’s pepper those field trips with some of my own experiences.  We’re talking about Native Americans?  Check out these sweet cliff dwellings I went to!  How are these similar to and different from what we typically imagine Native Americans living in?

We’re talking about desert ecosystems?  My grandmother happens to live in one of those, let’s take a look.  What different biomes have you been to?  Let’s bring in pictures of all the different biomes we’ve been to.

Share your experiences.  But mostly, help students realize that their experiences are a necessary part of your classroom community.

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