“Learn From Everything”
The traditional field trip packet consists of fill-in-the-blank worksheets, coloring activities, and textbook-like information pages. These are great if you want to simply make sure students are awake on the trip. But at Explorer Field Trips, I want to create Explorers out of each and every student! I want them fully immersed and invested in where they are and what they are doing. I want them learning from everything!
Every part of your field trip kit has a purpose. From researching before you go to learning how to present to others when you get back. Don’t be fooled by the seeming simplicity of the kits or by a few similar projects for different locations. Each one was developed with a specific and tailored three-step learning experience in mind to enhance each field trip well beyond the typical find/regurgitate method and to promote comparison for building relationships between experiences.
Research: I have purposefully left out most of the facts and details required to complete the projects. I want students to think about which project they want to do and what they will need to know in order to do it. They start learning before they even leave on their trip! This initial research phase creates a space in their minds for their experience, gives them all the tools they need, and heightens their awareness for learning opportunities. For younger children, this preparation can be guided by their field trip teacher, which facilitates the teacher’s deeper understanding of the experience so they can best guide young minds.
Experience: Your field trip location is packed with exciting and interesting things to do and see! Young minds absorb information best when they are unencumbered by uninteresting worksheets and fact pages that keep them learning at the surface level. During their experience they will take in their surroundings and learn from everything. They will take brief notes or jot down ideas, but largely their experience will be about absorbing as much as possible, having fun, and diving deep into their experience. They will create memories tied to the things they learn, which will cement new principles, ideas, and facts into their unique body of knowledge.
Presentation: Once the student’s mind has had time to absorb and process the trip, they are now ready to put everything together. They will get creative with their learning and the way they present their project. Using their research and experience, they will create compelling presentations, and by teaching others they further solidify their own learning. Their projects will be displayed on the Master Explorers page, reminiscent of a science fair or writing publication competition. Students take pride in their work and feel edified by their educational experience when they can produce something unique to them and show it off for others to enjoy.
Taken all together, these three aspects of Explorer Field Trips projects constitute a unique pedagogical experience that transforms the traditional field trip experience into a vibrant life-learning adventure. Don’t worry, I also include printable worksheets, because sometimes those are fun too! They act as a supplement to the projects, which are the backbone of the program. Go exploring and become a Master Explorer!