5 Virtual Field Trips for History and Social Studies Teachers

If you’ve experienced the Smithsonian, George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, Colonial Williamsburg and a slew of other historical landmarks, you know that these experiences can be transformational. As much as we’d love to take all of our students to these places, most of us lack the time, budget and pixie dust to make it happen.

Virtual field trips may not give your students the opportunity to tap into all five of their senses as they “visit” historical landmarks, but they can still help bring history to life and take them beyond the classroom without ever actually leaving it!

Below you’ll find five of our favorite virtual field trips for history and social studies teachers.

virtual field trips 01Smithsonian Museum
Take a virtual, self-guided, room-by-room walking tour of the entire Smithsonian museum. And while you’re at it, browse a list of past exhibits, click on museum hotspots and get a close-up view of some of the museum’s spectacular relics.

virtual field tripsExplore Ancient Egypt

This virtual field trip gives students the opportunity to walk the perimeter of the Sphinx, putts around inside the Great Pyramid of Giza and explore the tombs and temples of ancient Thebes.

These tours are multi-layered and interactive, giving students a 360 degree, panoramic view of some of civilization’s most breathtaking architecture. 

virtual field trips 03.jpgColonial Williamsburg
Thanks to the generous donations of its patrons, The Colonial Williamsburg fund is now offering live, virtual field trips covering a wide variety of historical topics including:

  • 18th-Century Trades and the Continental Army
  • The Bill of Rights
  • The Balance of Power: The Three Branches of Government
  • Women of the Revolution
  • Harsh World, This World: What Slavery was Really Like for Slaves and Their Masters

To download a PDF of the 2013-2014 virtual field trip schedule, click here.

virtual field trips 04The National WWII Museum
This museum, located in New Orleans, offers a variety of live presentations on topics including:

  • A Day of Infamy: The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor
  • Iwo Jima and the War in the Pacific
  • D-Day: The Turning Point of the War in Europe
  • Don’t You Know There’s a War On?! The Home Front During WWII
  • Double Victory: African Americans in WWII
  • And more

Unlike the rest of the virtual field trips on our list, The National WWII Museum does charge a $100 fee for theirs.

virtual field trips 05George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Our homes say a lot about our tastes, our socio-economic status, our accomplishments and personalities. Taking a virtual field trip to George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate was an excellent way for us to gain insight into the personality of one of our nation’s most iconic figures.

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The Smithsonian website is awesome. I don't know how I've never heard about it. Going to have to figure out how I can weave that into my U.S. History class this year.

You can learn a lot from historic places because there are many of things like diagrams, forts and their images, and other things appeared. You can learn from the above things practically.

These are all very cool sites! I hope to use them in my classroom one day.



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