Field trips can be amazing learning experiences. They provide students with the opportunity to actively participate in education, offering learning possibilities that aren’t readily available in the classroom. There are many benefits to incorporating field trips into your lesson plans. For example, a study by the U.S. Travel Association found that “regardless of gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, youth who take educational trips have better grades (59 percent), higher graduation rates from high school (95 percent) and college (63 percent), and greater income (12 percent higher annually).”
In the same study, 89 percent of respondents said, “educational trips had a positive, lasting impact on their education and career because the trips made them more engaged, intellectually curious and interested in and out of school,” the National Education Association explains. Field trips are especially important for disadvantaged students because they level the playing field, the same article notes.
Maybe the most important benefit that field trips give students is a connection between their studies and the real world. Understanding that what they learn is applicable outside the walls of the classroom gives new meaning to their studies. Here are a few more benefits of field trips, according to Explorable Places.
- Access: Field trips allow students to interact with their communities outside of the school environment. Real-world experiences can solidify learning and support academic concepts. “Our communities are rich learning laboratories,” Explorable Places says.
- Socio-emotional growth: A recent study by the University of Arkansas found that students who go on field trips have increased levels of empathy, tolerance, and critical thinking. Field trips empower students to think about the world from a new perspective.
- Academic impact: Field trips also provide hands-on learning that allows students to remember new facts and concepts. Especially for students with the kinesthetic or auditory learning style, field trip experiences lead to better learning outcomes.
Fall Field Trip Inspiration
Fall is a great time to explore field trip options. Students can experience the changing season and participate in autumn-themed activities that bring them out of the classroom and into their community. Here are just a few ideas to help you get started:
Students can learn where their food comes from by touring a local agricultural or livestock farm, Education World says. You can visit sites like LocalHarvest.org to find a farm in your area. Your students can enjoy talking with local farmers, seeing animals and crops, and more.
Taking a field trip to a farm is an ideal way to transition into learning about farmers’ markets, seasonal food, and the impact of eating local to support local farmers. You can either contact a local market to find out about tours or simply take your students to visit during market hours.
Apple Orchard or Pumpkin Patch
Fall is the perfect time to take a field trip to an orchard or pumpkin patch. Many locations offer activities like hay rides, corn mazes, and more that let students make the most of the season.
You also have a wide variety of options when it comes to museum field trips. Because there are so many different types of museums, from art to history to science, you can find tours that are relevant to what your students are learning in the classroom. This kind of hands-on, directly applicable experience is invaluable.
Virtual Field Trips
There are even field trip options for those with tight budgets or transportation challenges. Virtual field trips are ideal for expanding students’ experiences while keeping costs low. These digital “trips” are also a great option for cold winter months when outdoor activities are limited. Examples include the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History virtual tour and NOVA’s Great Pyramid Online Adventure.
Taking your students on field trips that allow them to explore and connect with their community is one of the best ways to broaden their horizons and introduce them to new ideas. To learn more about community collaboration and classroom management, check out our courses, Building Meaningful Partnerships: Connecting Schools, Families, and Communities and Effective Classroom Management for the 21st Century Teacher. They are designed to give you strategies for addressing your students’ needs while creating meaningful educational experiences for them. And don’t forget to explore our other professional development courses!
In 2015, Advancement Courses began partnering with the online charity, DonorsChoose.org, by donating 10% of all sales during each back-to-school season to help students and teachers in need. From August to October, teachers across the country submitted their projects for consideration using #EveryClassroomCounts.2017 saw a record-breaking number of project submissions, and we were amazed by [...]
Yoga has been gaining popularity in the K-12 school setting, particularly over the past decade. In fact, Harvard Health reports that 1.7 million U.S. children did yoga in 2012 — an increase of 400,000 from 2007. As more and more research points to evidence that yoga can improve academic achievement, positive behavior, and overall well-being, a growing number [...]
Now that school is back in session, it’s important to develop lesson plans to help all your students learn in a way that fits their individual needs. When teachers understand the characteristics of different learning styles and associated instruction strategies, they are better able to address the instructional requirements of all their students.Because every student learns differently, learning styles [...]
Advancement Courses has been partnering with the online charity, DonorsChoose.org, since 2015. Each year, we donate 10 percent of all sales during each back-to-school season to help students and teachers in need. This year, from August to October, we were able to donate $38,929 to 252 different projects to reach 32,834 students across the nation.One of the teachers we were able [...]
Affecting up to 12% of school age children, students with the learning disabilities designated as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and oral and written language learning disability (OWL LD) are characterized by impaired abilities in oral language, reading, handwriting, spelling, and writing. While experts aren’t sure what causes these disabilities, they to tend to run in families, and affect the areas of the [...]
Back to school time is here, and parents and students aren’t the only ones stocking up on supplies. It’s no secret that teachers often use their own money to purchase essential classroom items, fund projects, and more. Though schools have typically provided many of these items in the past, budget cuts and funding shortages mean that many teachers now [...]
For elementary-age students, a well-organized classroom library can spark a love of reading that will last a lifetime. If the idea of setting up a classroom library seems intimidating, don’t worry! Here are our favorite tips for organizing and maintaining your library so that it’s easy to use (and keep track of) for years to come.Categorize Your Books The first step [...]
As a new teacher, it’s normal to feel both nervous and excited as the first day of school approaches. There’s a lot to do to make sure your first day goes well, and a checklist can help you stay on track. When you take the time to prepare, you can transform first-day jitters into positive energy. Planning ahead is [...]
Tablets are everywhere, from how we watch Netflix to how we pay for meals and amuse our kids. The classroom is no exception. Tablets can be a powerful, relatively inexpensive and portable learning tool to take your students into 21 st century learning. They can motivate your students while also creating personalized educational experiences. But in a world filled with choices, [...]