Planning a school trip to the opposite side of the city can be challenging enough, let alone a trip overseas to a foreign country! There are planning and logistics challenges at every turn, and some students may not be able to afford a trip and could miss out on a valuable learning experience.
Taking your students to Germany can be a rewarding and exciting way to get them invested in their studies, but as the teacher planning the trip, you might notice it’s also overwhelming. There are budget constraints to contend with, chaperones to locate, student behavior concerns to address and meaningful lessons to plan. And? Once you arrive, you’re in charge of keeping each and every student safe. It’s a lot to take on.
Especially now as we social distance and stay home as much as possible, how can you share important immersive German cultural experiences with your students during virtual learning?
The good news is, with advances in technology, you still can show them some of the sights they would see on a trip to Germany. While there’s nothing like being there in person and experiencing the culture for yourself, you still can share some of the locales with your students as a creative and engaging way to present new content.
Here are some of the best resources and virtual trip ideas to take your students on a journey to Germany from the comfort of your classroom.
Use 360 Tourist for Views of Transportation, Cultural Locales, Holidays and More
Whatever your current unit happens to be, 360 Tourist has high-quality panoramic images to immerse your class completely in your lesson. 360 Tourist adds virtual tours every day from sights all over the world to enhance your curriculum and make your lessons feel more real and more tangible for your students.
Tours aren’t just broken down by country or region—they’re also broken down into categories like culture, entertainment, tourist attractions, hotels and holidays, and more.
If your students are studying the exceptionally efficient transportation systems in Germany, there are even virtual transportation tours that can walk them through train stations, ports, bridges, bus stations, ferry rides and more.
Create a Personalized Tour to Fit Your Latest Lesson and See Real Street Views With Google Tour Creator
If you have a specific lesson and you just aren’t finding the right virtual tour to pair with your plans, why not create your very own tour instead? Google Tour Creator is a free resource you can use to build a virtual tour that’s totally customized to your classroom needs.
Start with pre-created templates, get online support, and get real street views to ensure your students feel like they are wandering the streets of your latest lesson without leaving the comfort of their laptop or tablet.
Explore Daytime and Nighttime Views With Panorama Cities
World language teachers know that experiences overseas can vary from city to city, which is why Panorama Cities has created all-encompassing city views of cities throughout Germany by day and by night. Choose different cities to explore using an interactive map.
Each city is broken down into various attractions, which means you can focus your virtual tour on your current curriculum. You can tour shopping centers in Frankfurt to enhance your unit on German shopping, see Frank Gehry architecture in Dusseldorf, or view parliament buildings and Museum Island in Berlin.
Consult YouTube for Endless Resources
YouTube is filled with incredible resources to share with your class. For example, you can add to your German fairy tale unit by going on a National Geographic virtual tour of real-life fairytale castles. The best thing about finding these resources on YouTube is that you can get up-to-date and historical footage of the locations your students are learning about—for free.
There’s no shortage of resources to share with your students for every lesson. Here are a few excellent sources to check out and share:
Let Your Students Plan the Trip With Wanderlog
Part of the experience of going on a real trip is planning it and learning about how to travel internationally. Allow your older and more advanced students to explore for themselves by coming up with their very own itinerary on Wanderlog. Your students can build, map and organize their virtual travel plans and learn more about the logistics of planning a trip in the process.
In the process, your students will learn about how to buy tickets to museums, find local restaurants to dine in, navigate transportation systems, and research hotels and lodging; you’re putting them in the driver’s seat.
Round out the lesson by setting a list of required places to visit in a particular German city, establishing a budget and asking your students to research various modes of transportation. When you let your students plan the trip, they’ll find locations and attractions that are interesting and relevant to them, and they’ll grow more invested in the lesson and the culture when they plan everything out themselves.
At Kinderbooks, we are passionate about finding new and creative ways to engage students who are learning German. We’ve got the books you need to help deepen your students’ reading skills and the educational tools to create vibrant, exciting lessons to foster their love of the German language. We even have a teachers’ affiliate program to make it easier to share German resources with your students and their families.
Teaching German can be a rewarding experience whether your class trips take you overseas or to the farthest reaches of the internet. No matter where you’re headed, we’re here to help.