Have you ever wished you could take your kids on a tour through time? Have you ever recreated part of the past in your classroom? Are you looking for something fun and different for your kids (and yourself?) Consider taking your kids on a faux field trip in your classroom!
I have used this strategy several times with great success. The kids love that we are pretending to take a field trip, and I love bringing excitement into my Social Studies class! I have even handed out faux permission slips to pull in parent participation. This strategy won’t work with every piece of content – but there are several different ideas of how you can make it work.
Geography is the easiest and best topic to use for a field trip. Allow your students to experience Africa in a Safari – or Colonial America through a Carriage Ride! The first step is to decide where to go! This is an excellent strategy to introduce a region of the world or country.
Once you have decided on your time period or location, brainstorm several different forms of transportation. Would you be riding a bus through the Regions of Texas? A camel through the Middle East? A rickshaw through the Orient?
After you have chosen a method of transportation, you need to highlight several sites they would see along the trip. Find images to excite your students. Write a brief description for each image. It should not be too detailed – but brief enough to keep the pace of the lesson moving. Your students can take notes on graphic organizers designed to mimic the trip – such as a bus or a carriage.
You will want to have three to four “stops” along your tour. These are the key points of your lesson! Your students will “get out of the carriage” in order to explore a certain stop in detail. It is at this point you would set up stations in your room with more detailed readings, pictures and maybe even fun artifacts for the students to examine.
In my Carriage Ride Through the Colonies, I used QR codes to show the students video clips and games of the time period. During the stop, I would have the students answer guiding questions and write summaries “home” on postcards.
Have fun with your faux field trips – I know my students do!