Teaching ancient history can be engaging, interactive, and full of critical thinking without a lot of fuss. I just wrapped up 3 complete virtual field trips to ancient India that I'm sure your students will love, and you'll love too, because they are totally low prep! Yay!
If you are new to virtual field trips, you can find out more and grab access to a free virtual field trip here.
These digital activities are versatile and are a great option for blended or remote learning. You could go through each section of the trip together with your students, or assign as an independent activity within Google Classroom. Directions, clickable links, and response questions are set up within the Google Slides virtual field trip.
1. Indus Valley Virtual Field Trip
In this virtual field trip your students will learn about the Indus Valley civilization through Google Earth™ exploration, informational text, and critical thinking response questions. In this trip, your students will discover how people lived during the Vedic period through exploration of the city of Harrapa and the city of Mohenjo-daro.
Indus Valley cities were well-planned and set up in grids according to cardinal directions. Homes and public spaces were intentionally set apart. Cities even had a distinct water and sewage drainage system. During this activity, students get a chance to view these ancient ruins up close using the amazing features of Google Earth.™
This virtual field trip also includes a map in which students will locate and pinpoint each city before beginning their virtual adventure.
By the end of this digital activity, your students will come to understand what life was like during the Harrapan civilization in ancient India.
2. Konarak Sun Temple
Built in the 13th century kingdom of Orissa, the Konarak (Konark) Sun Temple was dedicated to the sun god, Surya. In this virtual field trip, students will explore and "walk around" the temple using Google Earth™ exploration features. The features of Google Earth™ are just amazing!
There are so many different places to "walk around" that I've taken the time to choose specific locations that will give students the best experience, while also being age appropriate. Within this virtual field trip, I've included clickable links that will take your students to specific viewing points. Throughout the Konarak Sun Temple there are many reliefs and sculptures depicting life during this time period. Some of the reliefs include musicians, dancers, mythical beings, birds, and animals, but there are also sensual images. I have done my best to ensure that each viewing point on Google Earth™ is age appropriate.
In this virtual field trip, your students will learn the history of the temple and the significance of the chariot and horse design. Your students will also discover the various astronomical features that were well planned and designed.
3. Taj Mahal Virtual Field Trip
Virtual field trips are engaging for students because they provide an opportunity for students to take ownership of their learning. Two critical components that make a virtual field trip successful are structure and accountability. Each virtual field trip includes critical thinking response questions throughout the course of the trip. These questions are editable, so you can adjust the questions to meet the different needs of your students.
In the virtual field trip to the Taj Mahal, your students will explore not just the mausoleum, but the Great Gate, the Taj Mahal Garden, and surrounding complex. A map is included so your students can track their location within the complex throughout the trip.
By the end of this trip, your students will come away with an understanding of the purpose of this mausoleum, the significant features, such as the optical illusions, script, marble inlays and more. This trip provides lots of opportunity for discovery as they tour the complex.
If you are covering world civilizations this year and are looking for additional virtual field trips, you might find that these trips align with your standards or curriculum. If you don't find what you're looking for, I love helping teachers. I can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org