If you’ve spent any time on Teacher TikTok, you know what it’s like to come across a post and think, “I wish I’d been in her class!” Dallas-area elementary teacher @sonjawhite_teach is one of those teachers. Recently, she posted a TikTok about taking her students on a pretend field trip to Mexico, and the cuteness—and education value—is almost too much for us to handle.
What’s a pretend field trip?
In what appears to be a lesson plan combining financial literacy, Hispanic Heritage Month, social studies, real-world knowledge, and pure imagination, Ms. White organized a pretend field trip to Mexico—including flights, souvenirs, meals, and more.
In this lesson, her students worked on skills in the following areas:
- Life skills (packing, passports, boarding, customs, and other practical travel processes)
- Financial literacy
- Cultural literacy
- World geography
Ms. White’s pretend field trip in action
A lesson like this requires a lot of creativity and planning on the teacher end. However, you can see how it paid off with student engagement. Check out her TikTok below:
How awesome is this? The little travel pillows, beverage cart, and class lunch are unbelievably sweet details. We applaud her creativity and commitment to a project that clearly made her students feel seen.
Pretend field trip ideas for every subject
If you’re looking at Ms. White’s field trip thinking, “I want to do that, but I teach big kids,” or “I want to do that, but I teach ELA,” don’t worry! A pretend field trip has tons of applications to other ages and subjects.
- ELA: Have students pretend to be travel journalists working on an article about a specific destination. You can also create a field trip around the setting in a book they’ve read recently (or that you’ll read soon). Older students can create their own pretend field trip video based on the setting in a book they’re reading independently, citing the descriptions from the book they pulled.
- Social Studies: “Travel” to different countries and report on their current events in first-person, incorporating elements from their studies. Or have students create brochures based on what they learned there. You can really mix things up and have them travel to different time periods!
- Math: If you don’t want to have students practice financial literacy, you could have students visit a famous landmarks like the Taj Mahal or Stonehenge and practice skills like geometry, measurement, probability, and estimation. Check out this resource from NZ Maths for more info.
- Science: “Travel” to a place based on whatever scientific concept you might be teaching. Old Faithful in Yellowstone, a rainforest, the bottom of an ocean, another planet—the options are limitless! Just channel your inner Ms. Frizzle.
Fine arts, PE, and foreign languages
- Art: So many art landmarks to visit, so little time! You could do a single trip to the Louvre (they have a great virtual field trip!) or take a whole week to hop around the globe. Additionally, you could check out artistic practices in other countries like Tibetan sand paintings, Ukrainian Easter eggs (pysanky), or Huichol beading from Mexico.
- PE: Travel to different countries to learn a regional dance, game, or athletic activity. Curling in Canada, Kho Kho in India … just maybe not fierljeppen in the Netherlands (pole vaulting across a canal of water!).
- Music: Create a DIY tour, either by city (New Orleans, Nashville, Detroit), style (K-pop, Berlin techno, cumbia), or venue (Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Nippon Budokan, Sydney Opera House).
- Foreign languages: You know what to do! 🙂
We love so many things about Ms. White’s pretend field trip to Mexico. But near the top of the list is how her decision to share this special lesson plan might ripple outward. We hope other teachers are inspired to bring the magic of travel to their students.