Seven Ways to Build Speech and Language Skills Using Virtual Fieldtrips


For many of us, Covid-19 has changed the way that we provide services, and just like when we are providing services in person, we are also always looking for different ways to change therapy up to keep our students engaged. Have you considered incorporating virtual field trips? Some are so extensive you can use it over multiple sessions while others are short and quick to use. 

Here are seven language goals that I have targeted using Virtual Field Trips and their websites.

  • BASIC LABELING & DESCRIPTIVE SKILLS- Watching live webcams of the animals at the zoo and/or live events at historic locations is a perfect way to practice labeling, describing, and sentence formulation!
  • PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES- There are so many different ways that you can target this goal using online virtual fieldtrips!  The live webcams are great since so many times the animals move around and you can probably get a few practice opportunities right there.  However, using online maps are another great resource to talk about where you would find specific exhibits.  Is the reptile house next to the bear caves or between the monkeys exhibit and the big cat enclosure?
  • FORMULATING SENTENCES- I already mentioned how the live cam videos are great for targeting this skill by talking about what the animals are doing and/or what is happening at the historic location. If you are on a page that has multiple live web cams or recorded videos, you can play I-Spy with your students to to determine which video you all will use or you can stop at a certain part of the video to describe something in the scene.  Using the online maps, you can take turns with your students explaining how to get from point A to point B and see if you all ended up at the correct location.  For example, "Go to the second floor of the museum and turn left after getting out of the elevators". 
  • ANSWERING/ASKING WH-QUESTIONS- Many of websites include recorded videos demonstrating things that happened before in history, more about an animals nature, and/or the steps needed to complete a task that can create opportunities to work on asking and responding to wh-questions.  You can also find maps and fact sheets that can be used for this task too!
  • GIVING DIRECTIONS- Online maps, maps, and more maps provided from a variety of virtual field trip locations! It is as easy as that! Although this next one is not a virtual field trip (unless you want to take a trip to my friend Sarah's house), you can also find some great wordless videos on her youtube channel
  • PLAY WITH WORDS- Yes, you read that right!  I was actually able to find some super cute videos when I took a virtual field trip to the Atlanta Zoo that was having pun with animals!
  • SEQUENCING- Some websites will provide sequential information about what happened in history at the location or how to complete a task which provides a wonderful opportunity to practice sequencing and story retell.  One super fun virtual field trip is to take your students to an amusement park for the day!  Not only does it provide some of our students with the first experience of what an amusement park might offer, if you use Youtube videos from the viewers point of view (POV), students can experience a ride and share what they saw in sequence.  Just make sure you review any and all Youtube videos before your sessions to make sure that it is appropriate including environment in which it was videoed.
These same websites also work wonderfully to practice articulation carryover and use of fluency techniques!  Who knows, maybe some of your students' teachers are also using virtual field trips in their current lesson plans and if so, you can collaborate!
        
I have created a comprehensive list of my GO-TO Virtual Field Trips (and other ideas) to use for Teletherapy. If you do not want to go about making your own list, you can grab my free cheat sheet below.

Do you know any other great Virtual Field Trip sites, if so we would love for you to share them below in the comments!


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