Technology has opened up endless possibilities for education, including virtual field trips. As a teacher, you have the opportunity to transport your students back in time to one of the most significant ecological disasters in American history—the Dust Bowl. And the best part is, all the prep-work for this interactive activity is done for you.
The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms that ravaged the Great Plains of the United States during the 1930s. The devastating combination of drought, poor agricultural practices, and strong winds led to the erosion of topsoil, leaving the land barren and the air filled with swirling dust clouds. This virtual field trip will help students gain a deeper understanding of the causes, impacts, and human experiences during this challenging time in American history.
This virtual field trip is an immersive learning experience. Through built-in Google Earth links, your students will be able to "look around" a homestead cabin built in Nebraska following the Homestead Act of 1862. Your students will also use Google Earth to view the prairie grass today as well as take in an aerial view of the very first shelterbelt implemented under the presidency of Roosevelt.
In addition, this virtual field trip provides a wealth of multimedia resources to enhance the learning experience. Students view historical images, video recordings from the time, and first-hand interviews, allowing them to witness firsthand the devastating impact on the environment and the lives of the people who endured the Dust Bowl.
The virtual field trip is not just about passive observation. Response questions are integrated into the experience to foster critical thinking and deeper understanding. The response questions are editable so that you can tailor them to fit your class needs. A grading rubric is included in the teacher file.
This virtual field trip is structured with informational text that provides essential context and information. The slides help students grasp the magnitude of the Dust Bowl and its lasting effects on both the environment and society.
Virtual field trips are a great way to expose students to technology and digital platforms, enhancing their digital literacy skills. This ready-to-go digital activity is versatile and can be used as sub-plans, provided for early finishers, assigned as a partner activity, or even conducted whole group if devices are limited.