Online Originals: Teachers add virtual field trips to lesson plans

Online Originals

GREENVILLE N.C. (WNCT) – Virtual learning is the new normal for students. Lenoir County teachers are getting creative by hosting virtual field trips on the Zoom video chat platform.

History teacher Chadwick Stokes uses the platform to take his students back in time.

 “What we decided to do is actually find ways to bring those sites to students that I teach, and one of the ways of doing that is a virtual field trip,” said Chadwick Stokes, Lenoir County History Teacher.

I tagged along for one of stokes’ virtual field trips. He taught a lesson about World War II, then gave students a grand tour of Colonial Williamsburg.

 “History has to be experienced. It can be talked about, it can be read about and that’s fine, but it needs to be experienced. You need to go to those places where those things happened,” Stokes added.

Stokes also does a show and tell for students.

“One of the artifacts that we’ve looked at in class is what we call a French Lottery Coat from The American Revolution and what I’ll do is; I’ll bring that coat in and we’ll talk about all kinds of things just from that coat alone. We can talk about what the coat is made of and that material versus another,” Stokes said.

Before the pandemic, Stokes would stage historical reenactments in his classroom, giving students hands-on learning.

“Kids are actually able to put their hands on period clothing from The 18th century. They’re able to learn about military drills. There are interpreters dressed in military uniforms. The kids are able to see open fire cooking the way cooking was done in the 18th century,” said Stokes.

Stokes’ next lessons will be on the Cold War, and the Korean War. He’s already thinking about how to make those subjects come alive.

 “Some of the research and investigative stuff that I have to do on my end is finding out what is out there for them to experience from those two particular events,” said Stokes.

Each virtual field trip can last up to an hour.

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