Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
February 27, 2018

Field Trips That Pack Learning Power and How to Fund Them

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    Who doesn’t love a great field trip? I still have very fond memories of the ones I took when I was a child. I think my very favorite one was when I was a fifth grader. My teacher, Mr. Porter, took us to plant trees in the San Bernardino National Forest. We went on Arbor Day, and I will never forget the excitement I felt when they placed that tiny sapling into the palm of my hand. I took great pride in planting that little tree, and have often wondered how big it has grown. That day, I knew I had made a difference in the world, and I still remember just how good it felt.

    "Once a Year, Go Someplace You’ve Never Been Before." — Dalai Lama

    Field trips are very exciting for kids! For many children, it is the first time they have ever been on a bus. Some of our field trip destinations are first time visits for lots of my students. I just adore watching how much their excitement grows in the days that lead up to the BIG day!

    Field Trip Destinations

    Science Center

    In kindergarten, we go on many field trips. Our most recent one was to the Discovery Center in Boise, Idaho. The Discovery Center is an interactive science center. It’s hands-on, with lots of STEM activities and exhibits. My kids absolutely loved it, and learned so much!

    Using our five senses to learn about the world around us and to describe matter is part of our kindergarten curriculum. The Discovery Center provided to be the perfect place to reinforce those standards in a FUN way! There are many science centers around the country and I would highly encourage you to check out one in your local area.

    The Zoo

    Springtime is the perfect time to go to the zoo. The weather is beautiful and the kids are more than ready to be outside after the long, long winter. I love taking my kids to the zoo because it is a natural environment to engage student learning and teach them about animals, habitats, and science.

    The zoo offers many different programs to schools. Self-guided zoo visits are usually the most affordable. So, if you are on a tight budget, this is the way to go. For a little extra money, zoos offer field trips with a guided program. At our zoo, Zoo Boise, the guided program includes a "guided zoo tour, biofact (animal pelts, skulls and bones, feathers, beaks, eggs, etc.) exploration, hands-on STEM focused activities, and animal meet and greets." (https://zooboise.org/)

    It’s great to read about animals in books, but nothing beats seeing these little critters up close and in person! Covering curriculum during our field trip to the zoo is not a problem at all. The zoo provided my kids the perfect opportunity to learn more about and discover the defining characteristics of living and nonliving things.  

    The Farm

    Kids love animals, but on a farm, children quickly learn there’s much more to learn and experience than the animals. A farm field trip gives children the opportunity to learn where food comes from, as well as the different jobs that people in our community hold. Of course, there’s nothing more exhilarating than making your way through corn mazes, picking pumpkins, and taking a ride on a tractor. Who knew this one little place could offer so many opportunities for learning!

    I am not even sure where to begin with what curriculum is covered when we go to our local farm because this field trip extends learning in the real world and crosses all curricular areas in kindergarten.

    In math, we can measure and weigh our pumpkins.

    We can put our five senses to work again as we explore the farm and all it has to offer while we take a tractor-pulled hayride out to pick a pumpkin.

    We can also witness all the unique characteristics of living and nonliving things we discover at the farm.

    It is a wonderful field trip! The Farmstead is our absolute favorite farm to visit each year!

    Funding Your Trip

    Donors Choose was started by Charles Best, a former history teacher at a Bronx, New York public high school. Their mission is, “We make it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.” (https://www.donorschoose.org/about)

    Please click HERE for a great article with tips for submitting a request for funding a class field trip through Donors Choose. The grants are easy to write, and the benefits you and your students receive will definitely be worth your time and effort.

    Another way to secure funding for your field trip is to request the fund through your building administrator or school PTA. Sometimes there is extra money just waiting to be spent, and it surely never hurts to ask.

    In the meantime, there are many community members who will bring the field trip experience directly to your school. Every year, we have our local fire station come and visit our kindergarteners. They actually drive their truck right up to the side of our school. Everyone loves the truck and the firefighters, and the kids are thrilled to learn all about their jobs and how they help communities!

    Another option, not to be overlooked, is the fantastic collection of virtual field trips that Scholastic offers. Not only do they offer tours to places that might be inaccessible to your students, they offer additional resources such as questions from classrooms, fun facts, vocabulary words. Plus you have the ability to stop the action if you see your class needs to take a moment for discussion.

    My Favorite Field Trip Books!

    Amelia Bedelia’s First Field Trip by Herman Parish

    King of the Zoo by Erica S. Perl

    Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner

    Splat and the Cool School Trip by Rob Scotton

    Field trips are FUN, but they sure can be exhausting!

    Sometimes we even lose teeth on our field trips!

    I love, love, love the time I get to spend with my littles when we are away from school. I get the pleasure to watch them learn in a different environment. Witnessing their sheer joy and excitement while we are on our field trips just warms my heart and makes me appreciate my sweet kinders, that much more! If only we could still see the world through the eyes of a child.

    Here's hoping you and your students can go on an exciting field trip soon! I hope you can use some of these ideas and that you always remember, when you LOVE what you teach, your students will LOVE what they learn!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog!

    xo-Shari

    Who doesn’t love a great field trip? I still have very fond memories of the ones I took when I was a child. I think my very favorite one was when I was a fifth grader. My teacher, Mr. Porter, took us to plant trees in the San Bernardino National Forest. We went on Arbor Day, and I will never forget the excitement I felt when they placed that tiny sapling into the palm of my hand. I took great pride in planting that little tree, and have often wondered how big it has grown. That day, I knew I had made a difference in the world, and I still remember just how good it felt.

    "Once a Year, Go Someplace You’ve Never Been Before." — Dalai Lama

    Field trips are very exciting for kids! For many children, it is the first time they have ever been on a bus. Some of our field trip destinations are first time visits for lots of my students. I just adore watching how much their excitement grows in the days that lead up to the BIG day!

    Field Trip Destinations

    Science Center

    In kindergarten, we go on many field trips. Our most recent one was to the Discovery Center in Boise, Idaho. The Discovery Center is an interactive science center. It’s hands-on, with lots of STEM activities and exhibits. My kids absolutely loved it, and learned so much!

    Using our five senses to learn about the world around us and to describe matter is part of our kindergarten curriculum. The Discovery Center provided to be the perfect place to reinforce those standards in a FUN way! There are many science centers around the country and I would highly encourage you to check out one in your local area.

    The Zoo

    Springtime is the perfect time to go to the zoo. The weather is beautiful and the kids are more than ready to be outside after the long, long winter. I love taking my kids to the zoo because it is a natural environment to engage student learning and teach them about animals, habitats, and science.

    The zoo offers many different programs to schools. Self-guided zoo visits are usually the most affordable. So, if you are on a tight budget, this is the way to go. For a little extra money, zoos offer field trips with a guided program. At our zoo, Zoo Boise, the guided program includes a "guided zoo tour, biofact (animal pelts, skulls and bones, feathers, beaks, eggs, etc.) exploration, hands-on STEM focused activities, and animal meet and greets." (https://zooboise.org/)

    It’s great to read about animals in books, but nothing beats seeing these little critters up close and in person! Covering curriculum during our field trip to the zoo is not a problem at all. The zoo provided my kids the perfect opportunity to learn more about and discover the defining characteristics of living and nonliving things.  

    The Farm

    Kids love animals, but on a farm, children quickly learn there’s much more to learn and experience than the animals. A farm field trip gives children the opportunity to learn where food comes from, as well as the different jobs that people in our community hold. Of course, there’s nothing more exhilarating than making your way through corn mazes, picking pumpkins, and taking a ride on a tractor. Who knew this one little place could offer so many opportunities for learning!

    I am not even sure where to begin with what curriculum is covered when we go to our local farm because this field trip extends learning in the real world and crosses all curricular areas in kindergarten.

    In math, we can measure and weigh our pumpkins.

    We can put our five senses to work again as we explore the farm and all it has to offer while we take a tractor-pulled hayride out to pick a pumpkin.

    We can also witness all the unique characteristics of living and nonliving things we discover at the farm.

    It is a wonderful field trip! The Farmstead is our absolute favorite farm to visit each year!

    Funding Your Trip

    Donors Choose was started by Charles Best, a former history teacher at a Bronx, New York public high school. Their mission is, “We make it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.” (https://www.donorschoose.org/about)

    Please click HERE for a great article with tips for submitting a request for funding a class field trip through Donors Choose. The grants are easy to write, and the benefits you and your students receive will definitely be worth your time and effort.

    Another way to secure funding for your field trip is to request the fund through your building administrator or school PTA. Sometimes there is extra money just waiting to be spent, and it surely never hurts to ask.

    In the meantime, there are many community members who will bring the field trip experience directly to your school. Every year, we have our local fire station come and visit our kindergarteners. They actually drive their truck right up to the side of our school. Everyone loves the truck and the firefighters, and the kids are thrilled to learn all about their jobs and how they help communities!

    Another option, not to be overlooked, is the fantastic collection of virtual field trips that Scholastic offers. Not only do they offer tours to places that might be inaccessible to your students, they offer additional resources such as questions from classrooms, fun facts, vocabulary words. Plus you have the ability to stop the action if you see your class needs to take a moment for discussion.

    My Favorite Field Trip Books!

    Amelia Bedelia’s First Field Trip by Herman Parish

    King of the Zoo by Erica S. Perl

    Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner

    Splat and the Cool School Trip by Rob Scotton

    Field trips are FUN, but they sure can be exhausting!

    Sometimes we even lose teeth on our field trips!

    I love, love, love the time I get to spend with my littles when we are away from school. I get the pleasure to watch them learn in a different environment. Witnessing their sheer joy and excitement while we are on our field trips just warms my heart and makes me appreciate my sweet kinders, that much more! If only we could still see the world through the eyes of a child.

    Here's hoping you and your students can go on an exciting field trip soon! I hope you can use some of these ideas and that you always remember, when you LOVE what you teach, your students will LOVE what they learn!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog!

    xo-Shari

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Shari's Most Recent Posts
Blog Post
5 Days of Gingerbread Fun!

The weeks before winter break can become long, so take a little extra time to plan some exciting activities to ensure you and your students are having fun learning this month. Read on for a fun and festive Gingerbread Man unit.

By Shari Carter
December 7, 2016
Blog Post
A Thankful Teacher and a Thanksgiving Recipe

I love spending time reflecting on the blessings in my life and hope you do too! Here's my list of things that make this teacher’s heart happy, plus a recipe for a Thanksgiving dish I can't live without!

By Shari Carter
November 22, 2016
Blog Post
5 Stories and Activities for Thanksgiving

If you are planning to read to young students during the days leading to Thanksgiving, these books are perfect! Each story is paired with activities to enhance your learners’ reading experience, and make your teaching just a little bit easier!

By Shari Carter
November 8, 2016
Blog Post
Hip, Hip, Hooray . . . It’s the 50th Day!

Although it seems like we just had our first day of school, here we are, soon-to-be celebrating 50 fabulous days of learning! And with a little preparation, you and your students will be twisting, shouting, and learning 1950s-style.

By Shari Carter
October 25, 2016
Blog Post
Spider Activities Your Class Will Love!

Young children are fascinated with creepy crawly creatures. Teaching a spider unit in the fall is a perfect way to take advantage of this interest. Engaging themes help kids make connections to the real world and get them super excited about learning.

By Shari Carter
October 10, 2016

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us