Field Trips - Activities and Suggestions

Keeping your students on task is no easy feat, right? Maybe the suggestions below will help. Also check out the sample itineraries at the bottom of the page.
 

Benjamin Franklin Museum

Activities
Just One Thing
Assign your students to work in pairs or groups to accomplish just one task while visiting the museum, and record it on their phone (photo or video).
  • Find the swim paddles. Demonstrate how they work.
  • Look for the clever instrument Franklin invented. Try your hand at the glass armonica.
  • Find the Magic Squares. Try your hand at it and explain how it works.
  • Find the exhibit about printing. Now set your name in type on the big screen.
  • Decide as a group what part of the exhibit best shows Franklin being a problem solver.
  • Decide as a group what part of the exhibit best shows Franklin being hard working.
  • Watch the video about Franklin's autobiography. Decide as a group what you think the memorable part was.
  • Find the matching game called "Choosing a Trade" and decide which trade you'd like to have, and why.
  • Find all the squirrel figurines in the exhibit. Be prepared to explain the connection between Franklin and squirrels.

Extension idea
While at the museum, ask your students to find the large quote that says, "What Good Have I Done Today?" When you return to the classroom, post this quote on your whiteboard or bulletin board and reward students who demonstrate kindness in the classroom, or provide assistance to others.

 

Independence Visitor Center

Activities
5 Minute Plan
  • Use the restrooms
10 Minute Plan
  • Use the restrooms
  • Assign your students a mission to find just one thing in the exhibit area near the Rangers Desk: pieces of eight, wampum, mouse trap, fire bucket, fire mark, twist of tobacco, playing cards, dice, smallpox kit, leech tube, image of a red-tailed hawk, silhouette of Alice Paul, silhouette of Thaddeus Kosciuszko, silhouette of Martin Luther King, Jr.
15 - 20 Minute Plan
  • Use the restrooms
  • Play the Find-Do game (see below for instructions)
Find-Do Game
Have your students work in teams to find a particular artifact or graphic in the exhibit near the Rangers Desk, and then do a certain activity. If your students are carrying smartphones, ask them to take photos or video of the "do" activity for a follow-up discussion back in the classroom.
Find-Do Missions
  • Find a costume. Try it on and strike a pose with any silhouette(s) on the silhouette wall
  • Find a leather apron. Try it on and pretend to apply ink to the lead type nearby
  • Find a reproduction of the chair that George Washington sat on when he presided over the Constitutional Convention. Sit in the chair and pretend to sign your name to the document.
  • Find the quotes by Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Read them out with feeling.
  • Find the quotes from Poor Richard's Almanack. Read your favorite one out with feeling.
  • Find the wheel that features people who lived or worked in Philadelphia. Spin the wheel three times. Take a photo of the three people you landed on.
  • Find the exhibit about food. Have a conversation with the people in the Pepper Pot soup painting.
 

Looking for a sample field trip itinerary? Here are two.


In this scenario, the teacher has reserved tickets for the 11am Independence Hall tour.
9:00 Bus Pick up at school
9:40 Bus Drop off at 6th and Arch Streets
9:50 Pick up reserved Independence Hall tickets for 11am at the Will Call line in the Independence Visitor Center; group uses restrooms in the visitor center
10:00 Explore the President's House Site at 6th and Market Streets
10:15 Walk to the security screening entrance for Independence Square (corner of 5th and Chestnut Streets), and go through security screening
10:35 Visit the Great Essentials exhibit in the West Wing
11:00 Tour Independence Hall
11:35 Walk to the Liberty Bell Center - get in line for security screening (if the line is more than a 20 minute wait, consider seeing the Liberty Bell through the glass viewing window)
11:55 Visit the Liberty Bell Center (assuming the line wasn't too long)
12:10 Lunch and restroom break
12:50 Walk to the Franklin Court Printing Office, get in line, and see the printing demonstration (if the line is very long, opt to explore the Franklin Court courtyard instead)
1:25 Walk to the Independence Visitor Center to use the restrooms
1:40 Pick up the bus at 5th and Arch Streets

In this scenario, the teacher has opted not to visit Independence Hall.
9:00 Bus Pick up at school
9:40 Bus Drop off at 5th and Arch Streets
9:50 Group explores the hands-on exhibit area near the Ranger Desk in the Independence Visitor Center; group uses restrooms in the visitor center
10:10 Walk to the Liberty Bell Center - get in line for security screening
10:30 See the exhibits and the real Liberty Bell
10:55 Walk to Independence Square and pass through security checkpoint
11:20 Tour Congress Hall and visit the Great Essentials exhibit in the West Wing
12:00 Lunch and restroom break
12:45 Walk to Franklin Court Printing Office, get in line and see the printing demonstration
1:20 Walk to the Independence Visitor Center to use the restrooms
1:40 Pick up the bus at 5th and Arch Streets

Last updated: March 1, 2019

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