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Monday Morning Ready03.25.2016
Jumpstart Your Week!

Imagine watching frantic shopkeepers busily extinguish the Great Fire of London. Or watching as people shelter from Nazi bombing raids during the Blitz. Now, thanks to a virtual reality app, you can travel back in time. And be immersed in these events.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

How do you think experiencing history through a virtual reality app would be different from watching a movie?

Grade 5-6

The Timelooper videos are location-based, so visitors have to be onsite to unlock the historical experiences. What advantages and disadvantages do you see with this approach?

Grade 7-8

Do you think virtual reality experiences are a good way to give people an accurate view of history or do you think they're more useful as a marketing tool for tourism? Why?

Grade 9-10

How do you think experiencing history through virtual reality could impact people's understanding of and reaction to past events?

LESSON PLAN
Create a Virtual Reality Experience

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, discuss what virtual reality is. Encourage students to describe any virtual reality experiences they've had. 
  2. Instruct students to select a historical landmark or event. Brainstorm ideas about how that topic could be turned into a virtual reality experience.
  3. Point out that in order for their experiences to be historically accurate, every aspect of the experience must be authentic. That includes things such as clothes, hairstyles and modes of transportation. Create a list of other items to consider.
  4. Have students conduct research on their topic. Instruct them to find photos or illustrations to show what life was like in the time period they plan to cover.
  5. Give students time to create a poster or write a script for their virtual reality experience.

ASSESSMENT: 

Encourage students to share what they learned about life during the time period they investigated. Then invite them to share their posters or scripts with the class. Evaluate the historical accuracy of each presentation.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:     

Grades 3-4:
Select one historical landmark or event for the class. Then divide the class into small groups. Assign each group one or two lifestyle topics to research. Have groups share what they learned with the class. Then have each student draw a historically accurate poster advertising the virtual reality experience.

Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Encourage each group to select a historical landmark or event. Tell groups to conduct research to learn more about their topic and what life was like in the time period they plan to cover. Then have each group draw a historically accurate poster advertising its virtual reality experience.

Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into small groups. Encourage each group to select a historical landmark or event. Tell groups to conduct research to learn about their topic and what life was like in the time period they plan to cover. Then have each group write a short script for its virtual reality experience.

Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct each pair to select a historical landmark or event. Tell them to conduct research to learn more about their topic and what life was like in the time period they plan to cover. Then have each pair write a short script for its virtual reality experience. After partners present to the class, challenge them to explain how historical details helped shape the plot of their script.  

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
How Can Schools Use Virtual Reality?
Read this Smithsonian article to learn how Google plans to expand its VR education program to make classrooms more engaging, and also more just.

Smithsonian Institution Virtual Exhibitions
Introduce students to everything from “African Voices” to “Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga” with the Smithsonian’s collection of virtual exhibitions. Activities include interactive maps, panoramic tours and even a virtual dinosaur dig.

Virtual Reality is Coming to Real-Life Rollercoasters
Would you like to soar with Superman or pilot an alien-fighting jet? Read this Smithsonian article and watch the video to see how theme parks are making that possible by adding virtual reality to their attractions.

Step Inside a Dalí Painting at This Virtual Reality Exhibit
Watch this Smithsonian video to see what it’s like to take a 360° tour inside a Salvador Dalí painting.

Smithsonian X 3D
The Smithsonian has a vast collection of objects and artifacts. There are so many that only one percent of the collections is on display in museum galleries at any given time. Browse the complete inventory and learn about scientific missions with the Smithsonian’s own 3D experience.
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