Who Doesn’t Love a Field Trip?
“A good zoo,” Stella said, “is a large domain. A wild cage. A safe place to be. It has room to roam and humans who don’t hurt.” She pauses, considering her words. “A good zoo is how humans make amends”. –Katherine Applegate, The One and Only Ivan
When you hear the words, field trip, what comes to mind? I immediately go back to fourth grade and going to Proctor and Gamble to see how soap is made. And, coming home with samples—WOW! As a kid I loved those field trips to factories to see how things were made. Maybe it started with a visit to the Kool-Aid factory with my Dad, who drove a truck for an electrical construction company. Every summer I got to ride along with him while he made deliveries to the electricians and one day, it was the Kool-Aid factory. And I did come home with lots of samples—the envy of the neighborhood, but I digress.
For those of you who are teachers, when you hear the words, field trip, you may think about all the planning, coordinating, and hoping the buses are on time. Another thing to think about is 8 Ways to Liven Up the Museum Field Trip by Stacey Goodman. Goodman offers several great ideas to prepare students to get more out of field trips.
While spring does not feel like it is around the corner in many parts of the country, planning a spring field trip can make it feel closer. If you are planning a field trip to a zoo, reading The One and Only Ivan now might be a great way to prepare your students for that trip. It’s a wonderful story, gently raising issues about the humaneness of zoos. Check out our unit plan and free bookmarks for The One and Only Ivan! Good luck planning those field trips!