There is nothing children enjoy more than pretending! Role playing games are such valuable tools for teaching languages. Planning a virtual trip requires some planning. You have to make sure the content is suitable for the level you teach.
Introduction of a country or cultural activity:
1. Passport: You can create a simple template that your students will have to fill out with basic information such as name, age, and country where they were born. They can draw a small picture about themselves.
2. Ticket: The ticket will have their seat and arrival country.
3. Sitting on an airplane: You may need to adapt this based on your space and the amount of time you have available to set up. I usually like making single lines and numbering the chairs from 1 to 20, depending on the number of students you have. Each student gets assigned a number. You can have two students pretend being the flight attendance to greet everyone when getting on the plane. This might take up to 5 minutes. You can also pretend that you have a pilot who will welcome everyone and let them know where they are heading to. For example, “Buenos días, Bienvenidos al vuelo de la clase de español. Vamos a Colombia.”
4. Google Earth: This requires some advance planning. You might want to choose the pictures of the places you would like to visit. I found a post written by The Teacher’s Prep with great information on using Google Earth: Create a Virtual Trip Using Google Earth
5. Choose a few short videos about the country you plan to visit.6. Postcard: Have the children make a postcard that they can pretend to send to a family member. The postcard can have information about what they learned during the virtual trip. Steps 4 and 5 might require a few class sessions to complete while the children do the cultural exploration. This also depends on how many times you see your students and the kind of program in which you teach. Some teachers prefer to do the cultural part in English , while others keep the target language basic and at the level of their students. I have a “Travel Set Activity” in my TpT store that I have used successfully with my students. Everything is ready to set up, and it even includes printable stamps that students can add to their passport every time they visit a new country. Click on the picture to learn all about it!