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How to Plan a Fantastic Field Trip

By Hooray for Family

First things first: Confirm Specifics

1. Decide on an objective for the field trip. What do you want your students to learn, experience or
accomplish while they are on the field trip? This will help you to narrow the list of destination options.

2. Select a destination. When considering destinations, remember it's a good idea to try fresh, new
field trips that haven't been repeated many times and become stale with the teachers and students
over the years. Determine what the students will do once they are there. This is where your creativity
comes in. "Think like a kid" - what would inspire your young people? What would they like to do? You
want the trip to be educational, yet engaging to insure you keep their interest.

3. Visit the site of the field trip before announcing the trip. You need to know your way around the
place you'll be visiting. Talk to the person in charge about what you want the children to see, experience
and learn. Discuss dates and times for the trip. Set an alternate date in case bad weather or other
problems postpone the trip. You will also want to find out if they offer any field trip packages, is there
a guide available, is lunch included, what is the cost for each child--essentially, what to expect on the
trip. Be sure to record the actual street address for any mapping or bus needs, get not just one contact
person but two {just in case}, telephone numbers, their email address and confirmation of your preferred
dates. Store this information for your future trips and for sharing with other educators/field trip planners
to help with their trip planning as well.

4. Submit paperwork to school/ district administration outlining why you believe a field trip is
necessary and beneficial. Be as persuasive as possible in making your case. Fill out and submit all
field trip request forms well in advance in case there are any unforeseen hiccups in the process.

Inform Parents and Guardians

5. Determine how many chaperones you will need and start recruiting. Share information with
the chaperones regarding the place of your destination, date and all pertinent departure and arrival
times. Coordinate activities and meals.

6. Arrange transportation to and from the location. Your school's bus company may be able to
provide services. Another option is a charter bus. This can be great for a longer road trip; however,
keep in mind that there is usually a higher fee associated with this form of custom transportation. You
can also ask students' parents to volunteer to chauffeur children to and from the field trip. Compose
a letter asking for volunteers and send it out to your class parents and guardians, or verbally ask for
volunteers as far ahead of time as possible. If the drive is not brief, plan multiple activities to occupy
children's time and attention. If parents are driving in their personal vehicles to get the children to the
site, prepare a file for your records that includes liability insurance information, number of working seat
belts, and days parents are available to drive, as well as their personal contact information and cell
numbers. For each driver, provide a copy of emergency information that includes parental consent for
emergency medical care for each child that they will have in their vehicle.

7. Pass out permission slips that your school, organization or district provides. Collect
permission slips at least two days before the field trip. You will also want to include information for the
parents detailing a list of any required items for the trip such as cost, a lunch and expected dress for
the students. Send this letter out at least a month prior to the field trip.
Set Expectations

8. Set Expectations. Prior to going on the trip, set expectations and share them with your class. For
example, tell students the type of behavior you expect from them, things that you want them to pay
attention to and what you hope they will learn. Go over the outline of the field trip with students. Allow
the students to ask questions and even make suggestions. You never know what they might come up
with that could enhance the trip!


9. Call the day before the trip to confirm your arrival.


10. Collect first aid supplies and emergency equipment required by licensing standards.

11. Make a name tag for each child to wear. Print the child's name in bold print on the front and the
teacher's name and the school's name, address and phone number on the back.

12. Take attendance. You'll want to do this again when getting back in the vehicles to head back to
school and once again when you arrive there.


Once you have done all the research
and preparing, you are ready to go!
Sure it's a lot of work to get ready.
Sometimes these trips are planned
many months in advance. But when
the kids have fun AND learn
something, it's so worth it. Have a
FANTASTIC field trip!

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By Hooray for Family
Categories:  Field Trips
Keywords:  Field Trip Guide

About the Author

Hooray for Family

Hooray for Family

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