Students will use the Google Expedition app to engage in a virtual reality experience. This Expedition takes students through five festivals and holidays from countries all around the world. Teachers will download the "Festivals Around the World" by Vida Systems expedition on the teacher tablet to push out to the students on the VR headset. Students will view different festivals celebrated by different cultures around the world, record facts about those cultures, and reflect upon their thinking. At the end of this activity, students will be curious about other countries and cultures, will generate questions, and will celebrate diversity in our world. This activity is part of a larger, thematic reading unit titled Global Literature.
1. To observe aspects of other cultures to promote understanding.
2. To ask questions about other countries and cultures to ignite student inquiry and curiosity.
3. To promote and to celebrate diversity within our world.
Teachers can use the student guide worksheet as a formative assessment to monitor student engagement and participation. Teachers can also guide students through deeper analysis of their observations and provided facts of the different festivals through their questions. Students will also reflect upon their experience and their thinking at the end of the student guide with focused questions.
Teachers could create a summative assessment that includes students planning, recording, and sharing an expedition of their own lives, customs, culture, etc.
1. The teacher will hand out the student guide to each student. Read through the directions as a class to clarify expectations and correct any misunderstandings.
2. Students will work in partners to explore the Expedition. The teacher will then hand out a VR headset to each set of partners. The teacher will set up the Google Expedition Kit and download the "Festivals Around the World" Expedition in the Google Expedition app on the teacher device. Please view the resource included below for further directions on setting up Google Expeditions (created by Jessica Brogley and Jacob Crase.)
3. Students should then open their individual devices (Chromebooks, iPads, etc) to access the shared slideshow with corresponding facts. If your students do not have individual devices, the teacher can project the slideshow on the classroom screen in the front of the classroom.
4. While one partner is making observations through the headset, the other partner can be documenting facts from the slideshow and then switch roles. Provide an overview of each festival scene and allow ample time at each scene for students to document their thinking on the student guide. Repeat this process for each festival in the Expedition.
5. Once the students have completed the Expedition, they should complete Part 2 on the student guide. Students can do this independently or discuss their thinking with their partner.
Teachers can differentiate this activity for different learners. For example, the teacher can decrease the number of observations and facts required for the student to write down on the guide. Students could also type their responses or use text to speech to record on a computer. Teachers can also extend and deepen the activity by having students look up another cultural aspect (landmarks, architecture, fashion, food, etc) of one of the featured countries in the expedition for further research and analysis.