Whether it’s whisking students to the nearest science center or gallivanting through a renaissance festival, field trips have a wide appeal. Not only do these off-site activities cater to all different types of learning styles, they also provide students with a welcome break from routine. Best of all, they allow children to understand the importance of classroom lessons through real-world experiences. To better take advantage of the educational benefits of out-of-class experiences (and hopefully provide you with winning arguments when pitching your next field trip!), here are a few ways field trips can apply to the classroom:
Whether it’s listening to guitar players in the park, or attending a fall festival with apples and bluegrass music, allowing children the experience of seeing musicians perform is an experience that can instill music appreciation in students who may not have otherwise had the chance to discover it. They can see the instruments they’ve learned about and even play their own back in the classroom. You never know, children may even be inspired to become a musician themselves and have you to thank for providing the inspiration!
Art museums can benefit young minds in so many ways. The wide variety of art pieces and styles aid in the development of critical thinking skills as children hear the stories behind the artwork and learn what artists were trying to depict. Later, when analyzing new art pieces in the classroom, students are able to think more critically about the art in front of them and write individual ideas on what they think the art portrays.
Visiting a history museum is not only a great way to bring a visual aspect to lessons, but it also instills historic empathy. By allowing students to witness the diversity of different people and cultures from around the world, they will also discover how these diverse cultures came to form the America we know today. Encourage writing skills by having students bring along their notebooks to keep notes of what time eras, inventions, or dress fashions they found the most interesting and why. Writing topics are only limited by your imagination!
Zoos and Botanical Gardens
If there were ever an example of experiential learning, it would be through interacting with nature! Whether it’s through exploring animal displays in science museums, visiting petting zoos, or walking through botanical gardens, children will get up close and personal with animal and plant life, while experiencing differences in texture, color, life cycles, and more! Involving children in hands-on learning is a great way to extend learning outside of the classroom and supplement current science learning.
Finding the Budget
From an elementary perspective in particular, you may be facing barriers like how field trips can be funded. Allowing time for field trips and finding the budget to support them can be a trial for many teachers, but there are alternatives. With the trend toward digital literacy, virtual field trips are a great way to take the learning experience beyond the lesson plan through using the computer! For more information on how you can get started planning your virtual field trip, check out the resources below:
Field Trip Resources: