Lesson Plan

Take your class on a virtual field trip of NYC!

Have your class take a virtual field trip of NYC (or any city you choose)
Hollie G.
Instructional Coach
North Fairview Elementary School
Topeka, KS
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

  • work collabotively with other group members
  • share facts about various tourist attractions in the given city
  • find the city on an interactive map
  • find how many miles it is from your hometown
  • create a Google Slide presentation to share research
English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 4 - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Surprise field trip day

Activity: Conversing

To start off your social studies lesson today you want to hook them in by telling them you are going on a field trip to New York City today! Try to act very excited about this, telling them you will see some of the biggest tourist attractions in our country.  

Ask and discuss with students how they think you will be getting to your destinations on the field trip today. 

2 Brainstorm places you'd like to see

Find an intro video of some of the places you'd like your class to explore today.  You will show it to your class once and just let them watch it. The second time you play it have them take notes in an app (such as Notability) if available. 

Here is an example of a video I found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2ett_YlWXY

Student Instructions

We are going to brainstorm the places we need to see if NYC, but we don't have time to see all of them.  As you watch this be thinking of the places that are on the top of your bucket list to see here. If you are been to NYC before, find some new things you'd like to see. 

Second time you watch: This time I'd like you to open Notability and be writing down notes of what you'd like to see in Notability. By the end of the video you need to have three places written down. 

3 Compare list of attractions

Activity: Investigating

Next, have students rank in order from 1-3 what they would like to see.  Compare the notes in the class to see who has similarities and who has differences. The goal of this step is to see who can be assigned to different groups to research the tourist attraction and hopefully take a virtual field trip of it. 

If you need to take a day break between this and assigning groups, that might work best. Try to keep groups smaller than five students is possible. Each group needs a different attraction assigned to them. 

4 Looking at map of trip

Find the "Interactive Map" through the National Geographic Education: Maps website and project it for the class to see. Take time to model how you can search for cities on it, you can change the type of map you are looking at. 

To begin modeling this look up the city you are in and click on the street map.  You can find the location of your school.

Students will then get six minutes to explore on their device, but have them searching NYC for the purpose of this activity. 

Take time through the mapping tool to find out how many miles it is from home, and how many miles each location is from each other. You can choose to do this as a whole group or in their small groups.

Student Instructions

You have six minutes to find New York City and begin to get acquainted with the city. Work with the others in your group to see if you can find your tourist attraction you will be investigating over the next few days.

At the end of six minutes be ready to share one thing you learned about the city.

5 Researching

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Depending on your class, tell them the exact thing you'd like them to learn about their attraction. For example: when was it built, what do people do there, how much does it cost to visit, why should your class go there?

They can work collaboratively with their group on this part through adding a brainstorming sheet into Google Drive. Feel free to use this one and make a copy: https://goo.gl/0twD9r.

Student Instructions


We need to figure out as much as we can about each location. By the end of today I want your group to find out when it was built, what people do there, how much it costs to vist, and why we should go there. 

(Many locations in NYC have a virtual field trip available on their websites for free. If you chose some of these locations this would be a perfect time to students to work through those. Example: http://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtour.htm)


6 Google presentations

Assign each student something to put into their Slide. For example: student one creates one on how much it cost, student two creates on on why they should visit, ect. 

Be specific as to what you want on each presentation. You could say each presentation needs one video, three images, how many miles it is from your home, and text about their tourist attraction.

When finished groups can share their end product.

Student Instructions

You have completed a lot of research, and now it's time to share it with your classmates to teach them!

Your group will each be creating a Google Slide presentation to work collaboratively on.  Each group needs to have one video, three images, how many miles it is from your home, and text explaining and showing your tourist attraction.

You will be in charge of your own slide. Please do not edit another classmates slide unless you have permission. Make sure to cite any and all resources used. 

Be ready to share these with your classmates!