Student Field Trip Preparation: Activity Ideas
Educational activities for students to prepare for an educational field trip
- Map reading skills: Using Arkansas maps, have them calculate distance, direction and time of travel. Give several average speeds, or compare two routes, have them calculate the differences in travel time.
- Reinforce their knowledge of the Arkansas Natural Divisions by having them identify the natural division in which the school is located and those they will travel through. Have them list characteristics of each natural division to observe from the bus. Identify the Natural Division in which the park or museum is located and list characteristics to compare while in the state park or state museum.
- Introduce visual skills. Let students describe ordinary objects in detail, like a paper clip, paintbrush, clothespin, or comb to their classmates. Note that the details of exhibits are important and your students will be able to learn about the exhibit through several methods in addition to observing and reading: audio, touch (caution to touch only where appropriate), audio-visual programs, and through our tour guides and park interpreters.
- Make students "inspectors" of one aspect of the topic they will study at the state park or museum. Have them report their findings to the class.
- Create teams and assign each team a subject area related to the field trip topic to research (e.g. government, art, religion, science, environment, etc.). From that research have them develop questions to ask the park staff, then have each team give a report to the class in the week following the field trip.
- Give students both open-ended and short answer question sheets that encourage them to gather information throughout the visit.
- Explore www.ArkansasStateParks.com, www.HistoryStateParks.com, www.mountainstateparks.com and www.adventurestateparks.com to learn more about their state park system.
Sample educational Activities for students:
- Create worksheets with partial drawings of objects found in the exhibitions. Let students complete the drawings based on their observations at the park or museum.
- Come up with a theme that is intriguing to your students, such as, Survival, Status, Hunter and Hunted, Starting Over, Birth and Death.
- Have students note or sketch something from the exhibits or park programs that connects to your theme—at least one fact and at least one emotion.
- Or make a list of themes, like those above, and have students find an example of a fact and an emotion for each.
- Create a vocabulary list based on the park/museum experience and your theme/goal for the field trip. Ask the park interpreter or museum educator for suggestions from words and terms they will be using in your programs or that students will find in the exhibits.
Ideas for Educational activities for Students on the Bus
Time spent getting to and from the park or museum is part of the field trip, too.
- Create simple drawings of things kids will see on the way to the park or museum, such as landmarks, famous buildings, or statues. Have students circle the items as they see them.
- Ask students to write down five ways they see that people have changed the environment.
- Have students list the characteristics of natural divisions they pass through.
- Have the students make a map in class, then note the name and population of each town they pass through.
We hope that these ideas and educational activities for students will assist you in field trip preparation for your class. Contact us if you need more assistance.