Technology today has provided new ways to present information to our students. If you are getting ready to teach the Silk Road, consider taking your students on a virtual tour! This activity is set up for digital learning and is a great option whether you are teaching face-to-face, hybrid, or are fully online. In this activity, students make 8 stops along the Silk Road.
The Silk Road was a network of trade routes that started in China and linked the regions of the ancient world. This activity provides students an opportunity to stop at several different significant cities and locations along the main route of the Silk Road.
With each stop, students build background knowledge about the location. Built in links provide an opportunity for students to learn more through video clips, and an opportunity to explore the locations through the 360-degree views available on Google Earth. Everything is set up in Google Slides and is ready to go.
This virtual tour includes 8 stops to the following:
1. Xi'an, China (Chang'an)
At this location, students will learn about the start of the Silk Road and will tour the City Wall which was designed as a military fortification situated at the eastern most point of the Silk Road.
2. Dunhuang, China
At the second stop, students will visit an ancient fortification and will also learn about the Mogao Caves. This stop includes 360-degree views as well as a short video clip.
3. Tash Rabat, Kyrgyzstan
This location is not a city, but rather a resting place along the Silk Road trade route. With this stop, students will have an opportunity to "walk around" and tour a caravanserai.
4. Samarkand, Uzbekistan
This was an important city along the Silk Road. Here, students will learn about the Registan Square and will also view the Chorus trading dome.
5. Sahr-e- Qumis, Iran
Today, this is a mostly deserted city, but there are some significant excavations from this site. Students will view and make observations of a textile fragment excavated at Qumis, Iran.
6. Tyre, Lebanon
Tyre was an ancient Phoenician city located along the Mediterranean Sea. At this location, students will learn about the important purple dye export, and will tour ancient Phoenician ruins.
7. Constantinople, Turkey
This was the largest and wealthiest city of Europe that included a natural harbor known today as the Golden Horn. Students will learn about this harbor and will visit the Galata Tower.
8. Rome, Italy
At this location, students will learn about the Roman harbor of Portus. They will also visit the ancient ruins of Ostia Antica, which is believed to be one of ancient Rome's first outposts.
How it Works:
This virtual field trip can be conducted teacher-led or shared with students through Google Classroom as an independent assignment. Everything is set up for you. This resource is LOW PREP and would even make great sub plans. Student directions are found within the lesson, and direct links are included to specific Google Earth™ locations. All work is completed digitally. No printing necessary.
This virtual field trip is structured. This means that the informational text and links are meaningful and are meant to lead students to think critically as they respond to the questions throughout the virtual field trip. Map skills are integrated. This is also a great way to keep students accountable as they learn and explore. All response questions are EDITABLE, so you can tailor to your class needs.
Here's what teachers are saying about these virtual field trips:
"My students really enjoyed going on a virtual field trip with these slides and Google Earth. My students loved being able to see different parts that we had been talking about in class."
"My students LOVED this resource. Can't emphasize this enough. We completed the field trip for Mesopotamian Ziggurats during our asynchronous work time one day and when all was said and done, they all asked when the next virtual field trip would be! I was glad to provide them with a resource that introduced them to Google Earth, a website some students didn't even know existed!"
Check out this virtual tour HERE.
To view an entire collection of ancient history virtual field trips click HERE.