This past week we have packed our imaginary suitcases and have taken off on the longest field trip ever! A virtual field trip! (Talk about saving money on buses and admission!) We have just begun reading the story Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan, and are totally immersing ourselves in the story by following the path which the main character, Esperanza, takes on her journey from Mexico to California.
In order to do this we are utilizing a GREAT resource, Google Lit Trips. This resource has tons of pre-made virtual field trips that allow students to actually explore the setting of the story and put themselves in the character's shoes. Along with utilizing Google Earth to do this, the authors of the Lit Trips have embedded mini-lessons, questions, and discussion points along the way. My students have loved this experience so far, and their connection to the story has them wanting to read further in the book every free moment they have.
So far I have been impressed with the Lit Trips and I am excited that they are a free resource. The only downfall is that in order to get to the download, you need to answer a survey each time. My recommendation would be to bookmark the final download page immediately so that you have easy access and aren't filling out the surveys every time someone accidentally closes out of the page. Even if you don't have access with the iPads for each student, I found projecting it from a teacher computer can be just as valuable, so don't let that stop you! The best part is they have books K- Higher Ed!
This project doesn't take long to set up, so if you're feeling that Spring Fever setting in… hopefully you can take your class on a virtual field trip to hook them back in! Good luck and as always, if you have any other ideas that you have used or that you think would improve this project let me know. I'm all about sharing ideas and lightening the load!
This past week we also did one of my favorite interactive, grab their attention, and learn at the same time lessons… edible cells!! Check out my blog post from last year where I explain all the steps to implementing this lesson yourself. It was a huge hit once again!
Edible Cells Blog Post