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Planning field trips

Planning field trips, or out-of-school learning opportunities, can be a wonderful way to add to your instruction and support the Big Ideas for your unit. Use the following guidelines to plan a field trip that is instructional as well as fun for your students:

  1. Look for places in your community that connect to the unit.
  2. Visit ahead of time and share your goals and Big Ideas with your contact person.
  3. Pre-teach by reviewing information that will connect to your visit and create a list of possible questions.
  4. Provide students with a specific task to complete during the trip.
  5. Allow students to talk and share their experiences after the trip.
  6. Create an opportunity to respond to the trip in writing.
  7. Have your students write (or at least sign) a thank-you card.

Some possible examples of terrific field trips related to social studies include: grocery store, restaurant, post office, fire department, bank, weather station, airport, bus station, car dealership, repair shop, water treatment plant, library, farm, museum, Goodwill store, dairy, home construction site, town hall or township offices, soup kitchen, Ronald McDonald House, hospital, department store, factory, Red Cross, food bank.