Posts Tagged ‘ virtual field trip ’

4 Ways to Teach Kids About Independence Day

Monday, July 1st, 2013

There’s no better time to teach kids about the freedom we are privy to as Americans than around the Fourth of July. Between the parades and barbecues but before the sun goes down to enjoy fireworks, take a break from the day’s heat with an opportunity to learn more about why July 4th is such an important day.

Take a virtual field trip to Philadelphia— Since the City of Brotherly Love was the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the home of the Liberty Bell. If you can’t make it there in person quite yet or are looking to build some background information for an upcoming trip, watch The Liberty Bell video by GoFieldTrips which is best for 3rd grade and up. Younger children will enjoy listening to what the bell may have sounded like in its unbroken and cracked state. If you’re planning to visit, the Independence National Historic Park site has free downloadable Junior Ranger Activity Books and Sheets designed to enhance the on-site learning of ages 5 and up.

Watch a video to learn about U.S. symbols that signify freedom— In their free 5 minute video, educational video site, BrainPop, introduces kids to symbols and teaches kids about common U.S. symbols such as the American flag, Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty, monuments, buildings that represent the United Stated Government, our national anthem, pledge, and more through animated characters, Annie and Moby. The video is enjoyable and educational for preschoolers through elementary ages because the learning about symbols are taught as Annie packs a care package of items for her friend in China and explains each to Moby, the robot character star of BrainPop’s videos.

Learn about fireworks— It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without ending the day with fireworks. Your kids can dazzle friends and loved ones with their knowledge about fireworks as they sit and wait for ones to explode overhead. Learn how the incredible fireworks shows are put together or what each one is called. How Fireworks Work on HowStuffWorks.com includes an interactive field guide that can help your kids identify the beautiful patterns they see in the sky.

Participate in an Independence Day webinar— Christina Frei, author of 5 Rockstars of the American Revolution is offering What They Don’t Teach You about July 4th, a free 45 minute webinar geared towards children ages 8-12 where she uses her comedic and acting talents to share facts about the Founding Fathers, signing of the Declaration of Independence, and how July 4 came to be the day we celebrate American independence from Britain.

Large group of American Flags commemorating a national holiday via Shutterstock

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Take a Virtual Field Trip of Scotland

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Take a virtual field trip of Scotland inspired by Brave

This weekend’s release of the Disney-Pixar movie Brave exposes viewers to the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. If your kids are already fans of the movie, here’s how you can teach them more about the country that inspired the beautiful scenery in the movie with a virtual field trip.

Teach children where in the world Scotland is located.  Young kids will appreciate a three dimensional visual representation of Scotland on a globe while older children with an understanding of geography can easily understand a flap map.  Print out a map or use this interactive map of Scotland and mouse over the links that highlight various parts of the country.

Learn the history of Scotland’s many castles and take a virtual field trip of Eilean Donan.

Teach movie goers the meaning of the words and phrases used in the movie such as the following that were uttered by the characters:

  • Bunch of galoots- Many fools. A galoot is a clumsy, oafish person.
  • Dreadful collywobbles- Unwanted stomachache or a bad case of the nerves. Collywobbles means an upset stomach; intestinal disturbances or a feeling of apprehension.
  • Jiggery Pokery- Nonsense.
  • Jings crivens help ma boab- Oh my! An exclamation of bewilderment or exasperation
  • Lass- Girl
  • Lad- Boy
  • Mitchy me- An exclamation of surprise, shock or being overwhelmed.
  • Numpty- Useless individual

Try your hand at archery like Merida through the Ultimate Archery Challenge, a fun interactive game on Disney.com.

If you’re wondering whether Brave is right for your children, visit Common Sense Media’s review and read how Amy Mascott of TeachMama.com prepared her kids to see the movie.

Ruins of Dunnotar castle, Scotland via Shutterstock. BRAVE Scottish Glossary courtesy of Disney-Pixar.

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