Field Trip Worksheets

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Field Trip Worksheets

Reading Time: ( Word Count: )

Field Trip Snacks Square

Field Trip Worksheets

Reading Time: ( Word Count: )

Mary Connolly
Connecticut Teacher


Field trips provide students with a great means of connecting the classroom learning to application in the real world. Regardless of how many miles the trip is from school, students who take part in field trips will develop a stronger understanding of the importance of lesson and practice in the classroom. When the connection between their school’s curriculum and its contribution to understanding the world, students will be more engaged.

While schools can access so much information virtually, it is not the same as going to an actual location. Teaching students about farming and soil management is best done at a farm. Touching the soil and seeing how plants and seeds are growing cannot be replicated completely online.

Learning about how people lived hundreds of years ago will be more powerful visiting an historic site. Walking into buildings that are hundreds of years old creates a sense of awe about a time long gone. Going to an art museum can inspire future artists. Seeing the colors, brush strokes, and images in person will generate ideas for future art pieces.

Regardless of the destination, students grow as a result of participating in a field trip. The balance a teacher needs is how to ensure learning connected to the curriculum occurs. Having worksheets prepared to complement the trip will assist in developing the link to academics.

Before the Field Trip

Provide students with information about the layout of the venue before the trip. This will assist in students being able to orient themselves to the locations for each experience of the trip. Use this opportunity to connect prior knowledge to the new learning.

Consequently, the worksheet can be a map of the setting. Have students annotate the map with notes regarding the purpose for visiting each spot on the map. This will accomplish an understanding of the layout of the facility, which will assist students who may be apprehensive about going to some place new.

Additionally, notating on the map the purpose(s) for each stop will focus student learning. Here is where you will make connections to the in-school curriculum and develop the purpose for the trip.

Using the map, also provides you an opportunity to discuss with students the expectations about their behavior. By familiarizing students with the layout and other visitors to envision, the newness of the setting, which can cause students to act differently can be neutralized.
To complement maps, you and your students can view videos or pictures of the location. Either of these will also aid students in piquing their interest in the trip. Again, students who may not be as comfortable traveling will have a good sense of the site.

While on the Field Trip

Students will already be familiar with the layout of the location. They will also have engaged their background knowledge and added depth to this experience with the map practice. While on the trip itself, worksheets to complete or take notes can be effective learning.

Consider grouping students to work together. If small groups of students have one sheet to share, they will be required to interact. This collaboration will facilitate discussion and additional learning. Groups should be put together before the trip. Based on your knowledge of the students, you want groups with a mix of comfortable socialization and a blend of academics.

While at the site, one component of the worksheet should involve gathering photographs or videos. Before adding this element, check with the field trip location for any restrictions on the use of cellphone cameras. All students might not have cellphones. Consider this as part of your grouping. Or for younger students, disposable cameras would work well.

Requiring students to take pictures during the trip will assist in ensuring their focus. You can determine specific locations at which students should take a picture. This will serve two purposes. It will function as a checklist for students to visit different aspects of the location. Also, once back in the classroom, the pictures will provide clear reminders and details for the students to use in their classroom tasks.

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While virtual field trips can offer amazing opportunities, the three-dimensional experience of an actual visit cannot be replaced.

After the Field Trip

The trip should not end with the buses arriving back in the school parking lot. Learning from the trip should continue to occur in the classroom. Worksheets completed on the trip should provide the basis for your next steps.

While on the trip, students were generating new thoughts. These need to be crystallized into learning concepts around which the trip was designed. There are a number of different activities that can be created to assist students in enhancing the connections and understanding produced thus far.

Frequently, the assignment after a trip is to list what you liked best, what you liked least, and draw a picture. Though this continues the discussion, it is not developing the curricular connections. You want to ensure the tasks assigned provide specific links to your curriculum. Consider activities that will solidify background knowledge with a focus on content. Then you want to expand upon the learning.

Questions to ask of yourself include –

 

  • How can I connect to other disciplines?
  • What higher level thinking is involved?
  • Are there problem-solving issues that students could explore?
  • What is the real-life connection?
    • Who is the authentic audience?
    • Is there an actual community issue?
    • How can the task go beyond the classroom?
  • Are there multiple modalities that the product can be? 
    • Visual renderings
    • Oral presentations
    • An exhibit for visitors
    • Further research
    • Conducting experiments
    • Community-based project
  • What thread(s) can be connected to the learning for the balance of the school year?

Regardless of the end product you decide upon, the field trip experience will be invaluable for all. Thinking through the entire process will ensure a stronger understanding for the students. It will also create a longer lasting impact on the students.

Ongoing Work

Students come to our classrooms with vastly different experiences. Some have traveled the world; others have not left their neighborhoods. Each of the communities in which we teach offer opportunities for field trips. Not all trips need to be grandiose.

A walk to your town’s library opens a new world for many students. Lifelong reading, viewing, and playing games are available with a trip to the library. Going to the grocery store is another idea. Connecting to health, cooking, or providing food baskets to people in need can be done with a walk to a grocery store.

While virtual field trips can offer amazing opportunities, the three-dimensional experience of an actual visit cannot be replaced.

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