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Recipe for a Perfect Field Trip

By Hooray for Family

Planning the perfect field trip is a lot like cooking a gourmet cake.  You can’t just toss all the ingredients into a pan and hope that a delectable 7-layer masterpiece comes out of the oven.  It takes a smidgen of this and a pinch of that, and many hours of research, organization and pre-planning to end up with a field trip that is both enjoyable AND educational for your group.  Yes, a daunting task, but Hooray for Family is ready to help.  We’ll give you the right tools, add in a healthy dose of creativity, and voila, you’ll have the perfect, step-by-step recipe for a memorable field trip.

Step One:  1 Part Detective

Be a detective. Get out your handy-dandy notebook and have some fun. You’re in the planning stages and you’ve got to think like a detective and ask who, what, where, when, why, how and why.

  • Who:  Who is the trip for and how many people will be attending?
  • What: What sort of trip is best for your group?  A museum, historical site, play, team building camp?
  • Where:  Where should you go?  Is there an in school assembly that best suits your needs?
  • When:  When is a good time to go?  How long is the trip?
  • Why:  Why are you going on a trip?  What do you hope to teach them and what will they learn?
  • How:  How will you pay for the trip?  How will you get there?  How will the trip augment your lesson?
Of course these are only the first important questions.  Don’t just scratch the surface.  The answers might seem logical and easy, but dig deeper and get ready for Step 2.

Step Two:  1 Part Creativity

Many times, schools, PTOs and other organizations simply repeat the same field trips and assemblies year after year, finding it far easier to stick with a proven entity rather than trying something new and unknown.  Unfortunately, this can become stale to both the teachers and leaders as well as the students or group members. Changing the location and activity can not only inspire curiosity in the children attending, but it will also allow adult chaperones and teachers to be re-engaged in the trip at hand.
  • Be creative and think outside of the box. If you’re studying the solar system, plan an excursion to the local planetarium like the Mayborn Science Theater in Killeen. Children will not only be amazed by the largeness of our universe, but they will be getting hands-on learning experience that couldn’t be duplicated in a classroom.
  • Ask around. If you’re not sure where to begin, then ask other groups, leaders, and people in the community. Fresh ideas can lead to enriched minds and more enjoyable outings.
  • Think like a kid. What were some of your favorite field trips as a child? What places in the area would make you excited about learning? Maybe an unconventional environment would be just the thing to inspire little minds. Why not take them to Practically Pikasso in Waco and create something they can take home?

Step Three:  1 Part Pre-Planning
Once you’ve ironed out where you and your group will be going, it’s time to solidify the details.  Get yourself a pen and paper and start a checklist. Here are some of the points that need to be covered:

  • Obtain administrative approval
  • Get a permission slip for group members
  • Contact bus company (if needed)
  • Touch base with the educational contact of the site to arrange for guides or material
  • Map out a schedule and the lesson plan for the day of the visit
  • Present the students with the major points of the lesson plan to familiarize them with they will be studying at the site
  • Organize any material that you will bring from school or home to help enhance the trip (scavenger hunts, essay questions, drawing materials, etc.)
  • Fundraise, if necessary

Step Four:  Mix all Ingredients Together
Once you’ve done all the pre-trip planning, fundraising and research - you’re ready to go. Add all the ingredients and mix them together.  Now you are set to head off on a fantastic field trip.


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By Hooray for Family
Keywords:  Field Trip Guide

About the Author

Hooray for Family

Hooray for Family

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