Each Internet Field Trip highlights several Web sites which have been selected and evaluated by teachers and educators. The selected sites all serve to enrich the study of a specific curriculum theme or topic, in the areas of language arts, math, science, social studies, children's literature, and K–2. Grade-specific Web sites are indicated where applicable. Scholastic.com Internet Field Trips are designed primarily as a lesson-planning tool for the teacher, but you may also wish to consider using them as guided research for students beginning to use the Internet independently.

Internet Field Trips can help students expand their knowledge and understanding of the current topic of focus and their understanding of technology as a resource. Specific field trips in each of the subject areas will meet a variety of content standards for that area.

Learning with the Internet Field Trips projects helps students meet the following standards:

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA).

  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience. (Standard 7)
  • Students use a variety of technological and informational resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge. (Standard 8)

Technology Foundation Standards for Students

  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems.
  • Are proficient in the use of technology.
  • Develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.
  • Use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
  • Use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.
  • Use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
  • Use technology tools to process data and report results.
  • Evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.

Useful tips to make the most of these activities include:

  • Bookmark Web pages for future reference.
  • Return to previous pages using Back or Go commands.
  • Return to the Curriculum index page using the curriculum title link at the top of each page.

In most cases, the teacher will want to spend time reviewing the field trip and planning curriculum correlations before presenting the Field Trip or the specific Web resources to students. NOTE: All sites recommended in Internet Field Trips have been reviewed by teachers and by Scholastic editors. However, due to the nature of the Internet, following a series of links from a recommended site may lead students far afield to potentially inappropriate sites. Teacher supervision and school appropriate-use policies are always recommended when students are using the Internet independently.

Following are three possible strategies for using Internet Field Trips in the classroom or media center:

AS A TEACHER RESOURCE: For many teachers, the most effective use of the Internet Field Trips will be as a planning tool. Review the selected Web sites for the topic and check for additional related Web sites as recommended in the Scholastic Web Guide. Determine which of the recommended sites are appropriate for use with your students. Bookmark the site. Then create your own lesson plans using the Web, or simply print out the available resources to supplement your current curriculum.

AS A CLASS ACTIVITY: If you have a large-screen television or LCD display panel, you may wish to follow the links in an Internet Field Trip as a whole-class Internet-literacy activity.

  • Open to the selected Field Trip and read the text as a group.
  • Show students how you click on each link to access that site. Point out that the links do not always take you to the home page of the site, and that some links connect the user to different places within the same site.
  • Demonstrate simple navigation strategies, such as clicking on the Home link to discover the sponsor of each site. Discuss how this may help you evaluate the reliability and validity of information found on the Web.
  • Explore with students other areas within a site, in addition to the highlighted features.
  • Discuss how the information in the featured Web sites relates to other information on the topic that you have covered in textbooks or in the classroom.

FOR INDEPENDENT STUDENT USE: Students who have some facility with online research can use Internet Field Trips independently or in small groups.

  • Allow online time in the classroom, media center, or computer lab for students to visit the recommended links.
  • For students just beginning to do online research, you may want to prepare one or two questions to be answered at each site.
  • Older or more experienced students can create research reports. These can be presented as written reports supplemented with images downloaded and printed from Web sites, or could be created as HyperStudio stacks or HTML pages.
  • Allow time in class for each student (or group of students) to present their reports orally or in multimedia format.