Students and teachers often look forward to a field trip as a break from the usual classroom routine and a chance to observe firsthand the topics studied in class. But planning an engaging field trip to a museum, cultural center, or historic site requires thoughtful preparation. In this course we’ll explore strategies for maintaining a high level of interest and curiosity among students during a field trip or cultural tour, with tips for the inclusion of students with disabilities. We’ll learn to use outside distractions to our advantage, and we’ll find experiential learning opportunities in even the most unexpected moments.
Topic 1: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework
Based on scientific research, the UDL framework offers an inclusive approach to teaching and learning. We’ll examine the learning-styles hypothesis and practice techniques for promoting both autonomy and collaboration among students. Refer to this framework when planning your next class field trip.
Topic 2: Social Stories & Preparing for a Field Trip
Teachers, students, chaperones and caregivers can all participate in preparing for a field trip. We’ll learn how to make a Social Story, reinvent the scavenger hunt, and ease potential anxieties around a trip to an unfamiliar place.
Topic 3: Inquiry-Based Learning
A sort of role-reversal between teachers and students, the inquiry-based approach invites students to ask questions and share ideas based on their observations. We’ll consider active learning strategies for an unconventional ‘classroom’ – like an art museum or nature park.
Topic 4: Multisensory Learning
Teachers can pique students’ interest, comprehension, and memory by engaging their various senses. Discover ways in which to apply multisensory learning to off-site activities – also an effective approach for the inclusion of students with disabilities.
Topic 5: Back in the Classroom: Debriefing an Off-Site Experience
A field trip can be an especially stimulating experience for many students. That is why it is important to take the time for reflection and continued learning even after a group excursion. Let’s discuss how to incorporate these teaching methods into our own classrooms.