Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Makes a Good Field Trip?

What was your favorite field trip when you were a child? What made it so memorable? Besides being thrilled to be out of the classroom, you probably got to interact with a fascinating guide, creative spaces or new materials in a way you had not experienced before. The interactions you had with your classmates may have helped make it memorable as well.

So what makes a good field trip? Good field trips connect to what children are learning. Authentic experiences that relate to and expand on previous knowledge can make powerful educational connections. For teachers, good planning must precede field trips. Teachers and caregivers should familiarize themselves with the site prior to booking a field trip. Parents want to know that their child will be safe and that the trip serves a planned educational purpose. If parents accompany their children on well-planned field trips, they can support their child's learning at home - and become the best advocates for future visits.

An increasing number of our volunteers under age 30 are reporting their memories of field trips at DCM. In particular, they recount experiences from our learning lab field trips. Our learning labs are memorable because they integrate what children are learning in school with their developmental interests and abilities. Teachers like them because they are well organized and align with the Illinois Learning Standards.

Do you have a favorite Museum field trip memory?. Post a comment with a group compiling those memories here. If you have a favorite field trip memory from DuPage Children's Museum, leave us a comment on our blog.

Consider booking a field trip with us soon!

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