Reflection: Virtual Field Trip to the “New” Man-Made Wonders of the World

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My Google Earth virtual field trip was designed for my 7th grade students, in collaboration with their social studies and English writing curriculums.

Standards:

Social Studies:   7.1, History of Ancient Civilizations

English:  7.2, Comprehension and Analysis of Nonfiction and Informational Text; 7.5, Writing Applications;  7.6, English Language Conventions

The goal of this project is to introduce students to several important archeological and cultural sites around the world.  The purpose of this is to encourage students to have respect for people in other countries and cultures.  Emphasis is put on the immense global value of these sites and on the hard work of the people who created them. 

We begin our journey at school, where we introduce the field trip:  The NEW 7 Man-Made Wonders of the World.  By watching a short video about the 2000 worldwide voting project to select the New Wonders of the World, students will gain an understanding of why this project was initiated and what its purpose was.  We jump from Indianapolis immediately to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to begin our tour of the 7 different sites.  At each stop, students are asked to either watch a video, participate in a virtual tour, or visit a website about the site.  At several stops, students are asked to complete a writing and research assignment about the Wonder they are learning about.  My intention was to provide interesting resources that will excite and motivate the students to want to know more about each of the places.  Finally, we return to school where students are asked to think more deeply about the people who created these monuments, and about those who treasure them now.  The project culminates with students being asked to choose the 8th Wonder of the World, and to be able to justify their selection based on what they learned throughout their virtual field trip.

My hope with this project is that students will gain an appreciation for other cultures in the world, and a respect for the values of people in other countries.  I believe students will more readily accept the differences between themselves and others if they can learn to see them in a positive way—as something to be excited about and of value.

Link to Google Earth Virtual Field Trip:  http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B9JBOvRQwf8XODlmYWIwODUtMTg2My00NjViLTk4YzEtNmQwNDcxY2Q1MzRi&hl=en

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