Like on all my foreign travels, I tend to keep some souvenirs like entrance tickets, brochures, or other keepsakes to use as artifacts in the classroom. Of course I’ll bring my digital camera, my GoPro, and my Zoom H2 audio recorder (along with selfie stick!).
As a world history teacher, I can use all the artifacts, photographs, maps, audio recordings, music, video, and personal experiences for a number of lessons in two or more units. The first unit on the Rise of Islam has the most opportunity because I will be in Jordan in the heart of the Middle East and the Muslim/Arab world. I plan to use my photographs and artifacts for a gallery walk. I will create a PPT or Google Slides presentation that will incorporate all the various media I recorded on the trip. I would also like to create a lesson on UNESCO World Heritage sites where the students research and use Google Earth to create and explore. Another idea is to create a geography and culture lesson to enhance understanding of the region. Students will explore the geographical features (archaeological sites, topography, bodies of water, climate, human geography) to get a better understanding of the historical significance of the region. I can do the same but on a smaller scale for my second unit on the Byzantine Empire and -- if I teach high school -- for the unit on WWI, WWII and the Cold War.
For my peers at school, I plan to present on overview of the highlights of my trip as part of our departmental meeting and potentially a professional development seminar. I intend to emphasize the importance of programs like GEEO.
Preparation During Travel
Before I leave, I will continue to read up on the history and geopolitics of the region. I also plan to read about the historical and archaeological sites we will be visiting so that I can fully immerse myself in the experience.