Ten Tips for a Successful Field Trip

Planning a field trip to a national park near you? Here a 10 quick tips to help you and your students get the most out of your trip:

  1. Plan everything well in advance. Call to schedule the field trip or request an educational fee waiver, get a confirmation, and make necessary arrangements for school and parental permission and transportation. Plan the educational experiences and activities for the field trip. Know how to get to the field trip site, how long it will take, and where you will have lunch. Bring along any supplies and materials needed for activities that you have planned. Share this with all the teachers and chaperones involved.
  2. Use pre-visit activities to help prepare the students for the field trip. Make field trip planning a part of in-class learning.
  3. Develop clear learning objectives and share them! Make sure that the students and other teachers know these objectives.
  4. Chaperoning is not a spectator sport. Chaperones can be a big help if they understand their role.
  5. Give everyone nametags. Make sure that even the teachers and chaperons are wearing readable nametags. It also helps to divide large groups into smaller sub-groups before the trip and color code their name tags.
  6. Keep the students engaged. Encourage the students to participate in the activities but remember you are responsible for their behavior.
  7. Keep students accountable for learning. A field trip is not a day off from school! Did you accomplish the planned learning objectives?
  8. Encourage independent observation time. Constructive free time can help make the trip more memorable.
  9. Bring the experience back home. Use post-visit activities back in the classroom to make the field trip relevant and reinforce concepts.
  10. Use evaluations and sharing. Improvements can only be made through honest feedback and evaluation.

Shenandoah National Park

Last updated: April 30, 2020