TELL students that the computer makes it possible for them to visit distant places without ever leaving the classroom.
DEFINE the Key Vocabulary term website.
EXPLAIN to students that they will be visiting websites that belong to real places, such as zoos and museums. These places may be distant from where they live, but they can visit them online.
CHOOSE one of the following websites to explore as a class. You may project the site onto a screen, or group students around a computer.
- Destination Modern Art: This interactive, kid-directed site from New York’s Museum of Modern Art takes children on a virtual tour of the museum, its artwork, and the artists.
- The San Diego Zoo: This website includes galleries of animal photographs, slide shows, and live “animal cams” of the residents of the San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California.
INVITE one or two students to role-play how they might ask you, as a teacher, to visit this site. (For example, “Mrs. Cohen, I’d like to visit a website about zoos. Can you help me find a site?”) Remind students that the first safety rule for going online is to always ask your parent or teacher first.
EXPLORE the website you’ve selected with your class, allowing students to choose pages and activities that are most interesting to them. Point out as you go through the site how students are following the other two safety rules for going online: only talk to people you know, and stick to places that are just right for you.
ENCOURAGE students to discuss what they saw and learned on their Internet field trip.
What things did you see on the website that you’ve never seen before?
Depending on the site you chose to explore, students may name animals, musical instruments, or paintings that they have seen for the first time.
How was your online field trip different from an in-person field trip? How was it similar?
Students should understand that on an online field trip, they can visit distant places that they might not be able to go to in person, without ever leaving the classroom. However, this kind of field trip shows them pictures and videos of things rather than the real things. But both types of field trips offer ways to see new and interesting things.