Teacher’s Brain

Are Virtual Field Trips Better Than Real Field Trips?

When it comes to field trips, many teachers find that they have a love-hate relationship with them. Are they fun? Of course! Do students love them? You betcha. Are they exhausting? Absolutely! Can they be stressful? Unfortunately, yes. 

We’ve all been there. We spend weeks preparing for a field trip. Plan the activity. Get it approved. Send out notices to parents and get permission forms signed. Collect any money necessary. Arrange transportation. Get parent volunteers. And that’s all before the field trip even starts! 

are virtual field trips better than real field trips?

During the pandemic, we were all forced to embrace digital-well- everything. We found ourselves figuring out online learning, Google Classroom, Boom Cards, distance learning activities, Zoom meetings, etc. It was a learning curve for sure, but it has changed so much about how we are able to teach, and that includes field trips! 

When it comes to field trips, many of us started doing virtual field trips for the first time and realized how much we loved them! 

So that begs the question: Are virtual field trips better than real field trips? 

They both have their pros and cons. In-person field trips are more immersive, but virtual field trips are great because they bring just as much fun and learning with way less stress, planning, and organizing on your part. 

How do you do a virtual field trip? 

Virtual field trips are so easy to do! You can find free virtual field trip tours on museum websites or you can go for a more interactive resource that includes the “tour” along with educational activities. For more on virtual field trips, check out my post on 5 Reasons To Take a Virtual Field Trip! 

What are some good virtual field trips? 

One of my favorite virtual field trips is my Virtual Zoo Trip! 

virtual field trip idea: zoo field trip

Use these interactive, editable Google Slides to easily have students copy and paste movable parts, learn about Zoo animals, facts, what to bring on a trip, and so much more! 

What is in this download?

28 Google Slides with titles, edit text boxes, directions, movable parts great for virtual or in-person teaching.

  • KWL Chart
  • Packing A Suitcase for the Trip
  • 1 Minute Take OFF Flight Video
  • 10-minute ZOO Field Trip Video (Car Ride to the Zoo, Animal Facts)
  • Sequencing Events, 3 Writing Prompts, Counting Objects (under 10), Labeling Parts, ZOO Counting Song, and Comprehension Questions
  • One extra slide for you to add anything you would like to the lesson. (videos or an assignment)
  • Home Connection Optional Assignment for students to build an animal habitat 
  • Black and white ink-saving Writing Pages and Home Connection Page for in-person teaching
virtual field trip resource preview

Your students will love this hands-on virtual field trip! Looking for more virtual fun? Check out my other virtual field trip resources here. 

What’s your favorite thing about virtual field trips? Let me know in the comments!

Everything You Need To Know To Teach Community Helpers

Let’s talk about community helpers! This is one of my favorite topics to teach because you can tell it just opens up a whole new world to little learners. They learn about all of these professions and sometimes they decide what they want to be when they grow up. If you are looking for some community helpers crafts and activities, you’re in the right place! 

Community Helpers worksheets

This is an important lesson because, among many other reasons, it helps students learn how a community works and the importance of working together. 

So what is the role of community helpers? 

Generally, this is anyone who helps our community function. They perform the day-to-day activities that we need in order to live our lives. They are incredibly important! 

What are some examples of community helpers? 

When making your community helpers list, think about professions like police officers, firefighters, teachers, doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, and mailmen. 

Here are some lesson ideas, community helpers activities, and community helpers printables to get you started! 

  1. Bring in guest speakers. This is an easy and fun one! Reach out to parents to see if they are a community helper. If so, invite them into your classroom to talk to your students about what it’s like. If not, you can reach out to local police officers, or fire stations and see if anyone would be interested in talking to the class. 
  2. Keep a journal. As students are learning about the different types of helpers, encourage them to keep a journal. They can write down what they have learned, draw pictures, store any community helpers crafts, etc. 
  3. Find places that help the community. You can sit with your students and brainstorm places where these helpers might work and take a virtual field trip! Search online for a video tour of one of these places for students to explore. 
  4. Discuss long ago vs. today. This is a great opportunity to explain to students how things have evolved and changed in our community. 
  5. Read some books about helpers in the community. This can be any book about doctors, teachers, police, mailmen, etc. 

Don’t have time to plan? I have you covered. Check out my Community Helpers Worksheets resource! This download is nine weeks of lessons designed to easily create a journal for students to use, interactive notebook pages, posters, and so much more!

Community Helpers interactive notebook

Here’s everything included

  • Weekly Detailed Lesson Plans for 9 Weeks
  • Home connection parent letter
  • Journal cover
  • Word Bank for the Journal
  • KWL
  • Printables to insert as a journal or use individually covering different helpers, tools and equipment, and today & long ago
  • Rubric for the journal
  • Nine interactive notebook pages (suggested to do once a week on Fridays)
  • Classroom posters


  • Poem/songs
  • Dial 911
  • Cut and label the police officer
  • Cut and label the firefighter
  • Volunteer art handprint gift
  • Sample of how to make the gift
  • Police officer hat/headband craft
  • Police badges
  • Firefighter hat

activities and posters

My biggest tip for teaching community helpers for kindergarten or first grade is to have fun! Students love exploring and learning about these different professions. For more tips on teaching this unit, check out my post here! 

What are your favorite ways to teach this unit? Let me know in the comments!


How To Catch The Easter Bunny: A Fun and Engaging Easter Activity!

Easter is right around the corner and that means it’s time to whip out all of the fun pastel and egg-shaped decor and stock up on Easter candy to hand out to your students. It’s also time to start brainstorming Easter activities to do in the classroom to celebrate. 

There is always the traditional Easter egg hunt or coloring eggs, but when I was in the classroom I tried to think outside the box so I could get my students truly engaged and give them a unique Easter classroom experience.

I came up with an Easter activity that would give students the opportunity to create an Easter Bunny trap!

I created a digital resource that would make this activity a simple, no-prep, no-mess option! 

easter activity

The interactive and editable Google Slides allow students to copy and paste movable parts to design their own Easter Bunny trap. This gets students thinking creatively and critically to come up with their own unique trap.  

Then, they will write a narrative, persuasive, or opinion paper about how they plan to catch the bunny. This activity is perfect for engaging students in creative thinking and planning. 

Easter activity

Make it even more fun by adding all the student’s work to a new slide show with the music provided while in present mode to have a bunny trap design contest. You can also print and display them in your room or make a slideshow with the student’s finished products to view virtually. Music is provided! 

Included with this Easter activity you’ll get: 

  • 12 background slides for students to choose from to begin designing
  • 4 slides with movable parts for students to use to design their own bunny trap (You can edit some images, remove or add images)
  • 6 slides for students to brainstorm, organize thoughts, and write a story about their trap
  • Black and white slides for students to digitally or handwrite stories. (narrative, persuasive, or opinion writing included)
  • A Google Form to have a Favorite Trap Design Contest

Easter activity

If you love this activity but can’t do it virtually with your students, you can also print it out and complete it that way! This resource can easily be adapted to do in person, digitally, or sent home to complete with the child’s parents. 

Check out the video tutorial! 

Looking for more spring and Easter activities for the classroom? Check out my post here!

How will you be celebrating Easter with your students? Let me know in the comments?


Easter activity pin image


Valentine’s Day Escape Room Students Will Love

One of the latest trends making waves in the education world (and in the outside world too), is escape rooms. If you don’t already know, escape rooms are a game where people (or in our case students) work together to solve clues, puzzles, or complete designated tasks in order to “escape the room” in a set amount of time. Sounds fun, right?!

These games are so exciting because they are very immersive. The interactive aspect really makes you feel like you are living the story of the escape room! 

In the classroom, escape rooms can include puzzles or tasks related to the skills you are working on in your lessons. This makes it an educational activity for students that feels like fun, not work! 

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted an escape room that had a fun and festive Valentine’s Day theme while still being an engaging way to work on skills in the classroom. 

So, I created this Valentine’s Day Escape Room! 

Valentine's Day escape room activity

This Valentine’s Day mystery requires little prep and includes detailed directions, 3 clues to solve, a video hook, and set-up photos to help you put it all together. The set-up checklist will help you ensure that everything runs smoothly for the activity. 

To start, students will watch the video hook or introduction to learn about their mission. Then they will be tasked with solving 3 clues using comprehension skills. If you find that any of the activities are too easy for your students, there are additional activities included to differentiate. Students will practice teamwork skills while solving clues to help learn about holiday vocabulary and number patterns. 

Valentine's Day escape room activity

The clues will help them unlock the box and claim their prize. For prizes, you can use candy, homework passes, or bookmarks. Whatever you choose! 

The supplies needed are simple. You’ll need a box , some surprises to put inside the box (homework passes and bookmarks are provided), pencils, 6 large file folders (or regular folders), candy hearts (paper ones are provided if you don’t want to use real candy) and magnifying glasses (2 or more). 

Valentine's Day escape room

This activity is so engaging! It’s so fun to see how excited students get to put their detective skills to work so they can solve the clues. 

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day activities for elementary? Let me know in the comments!

Valentine's Day escape room