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Field Trip Tips

Safety First

Have identical, brightly colored T-shirts printed with your school name so that the children are easy to spot in a crowd. Write your cell phone number on the inside collar or tag with a permanent marker in case someone gets lost. Pair each child with a buddy to stick with the entire trip. Have parent volunteers partner up with a small group of children and be responsible for them the whole day. Everyone should line up and walk together. Do head counts before and after moving to a different area. Be sure to review the rules a few days before the trip, in the classroom before you leave and immediately after arriving at your destination.

Map Out Your Day

Plan your visit according to your educational priorities. You might not be able to see everything if you are pressed for time or have very young students. Get a map of the field trip site ahead of time and plan to visit each area in order of location and importance. Make sure that your last attraction before lunch or snack is close to an eating area. Schedule bathroom and water breaks every few hours, or more often if your children are very young. Schedule all tours or presentations ahead of time and map them accordingly. Allow ample time for getting from place to place, but not so much that your group is forced to wait for a long while.

Make the Most of the Trip

Give the children journals and pencils while they are on the trip so they can draw what they've seen. If they are old enough to write, give them a quiet moment at the end of the day to describe the things that affected them the most. The journals will remind them of the trip in the days following. Take pictures or even video as well. Have a day where you look at photos and read pages from journals. The children can ask questions or you can present a lesson for deeper learning about a particular aspect of the trip. This way you can continue to learn from the trip even after you've returned home.

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