Field Trips!!!

I have just finished planning a 7th grade Language Arts field trip.  Sometimes I am surprised by the organization and planning that can go into a trip, even a simple one.  Still, there is so much that can be said for a well-planned, on-site experiential learning opportunity.  All of a sudden, what you are saying has tangible applications beyond your classroom walls!  As teachers, we know that we do matters.  A field trip might be just the ticket to convincing your students its true.  This stuff they hear in their classroom – people’s lives revolve around it.  Plus, they get to move a little bit, and that always helps. 

One key to truly effective field trips is clearly communicating the purposes and goals behind your trip.  Some parents or administrators may be weary that a field trip will simply become a vacation day from school.  In case you are interested, I’ve attached my letter to parents explaining our curricular goals for the trip.  Wren’s Nest Letter

I am taking my 7th grade Langauge Arts class to The Wren’s Nest, home of Joel Chandler Harris and the oldest house museum in Georgia.  Harris is the writer who took the oral traditions of the Brer Rabbit stories and put them into written form as the Uncle Remus stories.  At the time of his death, his work was second only to Mark Twain in popularity.  That’s some pretty impressive stuff.  We will go on a house tour guided by a docent/storyteller.  I am super pumped.

How do you use field trips as an educational tool, or what do you think makes them so great?  Any stellar field trip experiences you would like to share?


2 responses to “Field Trips!!!

  1. Gary Anderson January 27, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    We do an architecture field trip each spring after studying
    landmark buildings in downtown Chicago and the work of Frank Lloyd
    Wright. Nothing is better than a field trip for making learning
    concrete. (Parent chaperones are a big plus.)


  2. KDixon January 28, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I totally agree. One of my favorite elements of field trips is also that students not only get some hands on learning about the topic, but that it also comes with establishing a little pride in their community. Maybe they will start wondering what their mark on Chicago (or Atlanta, for me) will be.


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