Let’s Go On A Online Field Trip…

On Thursday during learning buddies I knew I wanted to teach my first lesson to the students so I turned looked through the Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools.    I decided I wanted to focus on Digital Literacy from the Continuum that outlines that Digital Literacy “is the capability to use technology and knowing when and how to use it” (Government of Saskatchewan Continuum).  In the lesson student’s will “navigate appropriate websites as provided by the teacher” (Government of Saskatchewan Continuum).  I wanted students to learn about good websites that they can go on that are fun and high interest, but also have educational value as well.  There are so many fantastic websites that are wonderful for students to grow and learn from.  I also wanted to begin discussing Digital Safety and Security with the students.

be careful make every move a safe one

Photo Credit: ShanMcG213 via Compfight cc

In this lesson students will also “participate in safe online activities that ensure they do not post their location, full name, and identifying photo with their name online” (Government of Saskatchewan Continuum). That is one of the reasons why I decided that students will use their secret agent numbers for their individual blogs instead of their first names.  I decided to look through the lessons on the Common Sense Education website to help me plan my lesson.  I needed to create an account to have access to the PDF fills for the different lessons that were posted.  I was struggling with trying to find the school I teach at since there was a Carlyle School in the United States and the Internet was acting very slow at my school when I was attempting to create this new account.  I decided to wait to try and create my account when I got home so the Internet would also be a bit faster.  I ended up saying that I taught at the high school in Carlyle instead of the elementary school since I was able to find the high school name on the list.  At the beginning of my career I use to teach at Gordon F. Kells so I did not feel bad having to use that school name for my account information.  Once I got my account up and running I chose to follow the Going Places Safely lesson from the website.  I was very impressed with how the lesson was designed and presented.  When I looked over the lessons I was excited with the idea of taking students on a virtual field trip and comparing the rules to a real world field trip to an online trip.  In the lesson we did focus on the essential question provided: “How do I go to places safely on the computer?” (Common Sense Education).  We started off the lesson with a good discussion.  I began the lesson by asking what rules do we have for visiting places in real life?  The students came up with some good rules and told me important things to remember when going on field trips in real life.  Have a look at the picture down below to see what the students said in our discussion:

lesson one photo

Then I showed the students the My Online Neighborhood video again from this lesson to refresh their memory.  After watching the video this time the students brainstormed what rules they have for visiting places online?  The students focused on the video again and came up with some great rules and guidelines to follow when visiting online places.  Have a look at the next picture below to read what the students ideas were:

lesson one #2 photo

Ì was very proud of everyone and was surprised in how engaged everyone was in the lesson.  My students were very excited to be traveling on an online field trip with their learning buddies.  The lesson introduced me to two new websites that I have never heard about before.  The Destination Modern Art and The San Diego Zoo.

The Modern Art website allows students to go on an online field trip to The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  Students are able to do interactive activities with the art work.  Some activities they can look to help find the colours in the paintings, put the paintings back together, or identify the materials that were used in the artwork .  Other activities allows them to listen to sounds that match the painting or art piece.  While others allow students to create poems and gives students the opportunity to learn facts about the artwork and the artists.  It also provides encouragement for students to go create pieces of artwork inspired by the artist.  Students can also travel to the PS1 Contemporary Art Center.  The center used to be a school and now it is an art center.  In the website it has students help find art pieces around the building and gives details about the pieces.

By students going on an online field trip to The Museum of Modern Art and PS1 Contemporary Art Center they can learn a lot about online safety while learning about art and it also covers other outcomes from the curriculum such as:

  • Arts Ed: CP2.8- Create art works using a variety of visual art concepts (e.g., secondary colours), forms (e.g., collage, drawing, painting, sculpture, mobile, traditional art), and media (e.g., paper, found objects, paint, crayons).
  • Arts Ed: CR2.2- Create art works using a variety of visual art concepts (e.g., secondary colours), forms (e.g., collage, drawing, painting, sculpture, mobile, traditional art), and media (e.g., paper, found objects, paint, crayons).
  • ELA: CR2.2- View and explain (with support from the text) the key literal and inferential ideas (messages), important details, and how elements (such as colour, layout, medium, and special fonts) enhance meaning in grade-appropriate visual and multimedia texts.
  • ELA: CC2.2- Use a variety of ways to represent understanding and to communicate ideas, procedures, stories, and feelings in a clear manner with essential details.
  • ELA: CC2.4- Write stories, poems, friendly letters, reports, and observations using appropriate and relevant details in clear and complete sentences and paragraphs of at least six sentences.
  • Health: USC2.5- Recognize potential safety risks in community “play areas” and determine safe practices/behaviours to identify, assess, and reduce the risks.
  • Health: DM2.1- Demonstrate how, why, and when to ask for help and/or advice when discovering healthy connections related to thoughts-feelings-actions, healthy snacking, affects of illness/disease, respect, safety, and diversity.

The San Diego Zoo website also allows students to go on an online field trip.  This website has so many great links that allows students to learn a lot while going on animal adventures.  Students can learn facts about a variety of animals.  The website sorts the animal profiles and facts into the different animal families such as: amphibians, birds, mammals, arthropods,  and reptiles.  Students can read facts about the different family groups and can choose to learn about the different animals that belong to the families.  Students can learn about where the animals live, what they look like, what size they are, what they eat, and about when they have babies.  There are also a lot of pictures of each of the animals.  The students loved the animal cams and the chance to be able to watch the animals live in the zoo!  The website has a lot of other fabulous videos of the animals.  Students are able to learn about the different jobs that people do on the San Diego Zoo.  Finally there are fun activities that shows students how to draw pictures of the animals, create animal crafts, and games that students can play.

By students going on an online field trip to The San Diego Zoo they can also learn a lot about online safety while learning about science and other outcomes from the curriculum such as:

  • Science: AN2.1- Analyze the growth and development of familiar animals, including birds, fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, during their life cycles.
  • Science: AN2.3– Assess the interdependence of humans and animals in natural and constructed environments.
  • ELA: CR2.4- Read and demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate literary and informational texts read silently and orally by relating and retelling key events and ideas in sequence with specific details and discussing how, why, and what if questions.
  • ELA: AR2.1- Reflect on and assess their viewing, listening, reading, speaking, writing, and other representing experiences and strategies by participating in discussions and relating work to a set of criteria (e.g., “What did I learn?”).
  • Social Studies: DR2.2- Analyze the influence of the natural environment on the local community.

I know my students will be returning back to the museum and the zoo!  They learned so much in such a short amount of time on those two websites.  My students told me what they learned about when we wrote a blog post together on our classroom blog. I am very proud of all of them.  I am looking forward to teaching my students more about online safety and introducing them to topics that focus even more on digital citizenship.  Please leave me a comment if you know any more great websites where my grade two students can go on more fabulous online field trips that allows for lots of learning!!

The Internet can open the doors to a lot of learning for students! 

They just need to learn the tools to stay safe and learn how to create a positive digital footprint for themselves.

three hands around the world

Photo Credit: social.englishme via Compfight cc



  1. I love the idea of online field trips. We don’t have functioning science labs at the Huda school, so our chemistry teacher does virtual labs with the class. It’s not quite the same experience as doing it in real life, but the learning outcome is the same.


  2. Pingback: Reflecting On My Learning Journey In EC&I832..What Is My Role Now? | Justine Stephanson's Blog

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