The field trip isn't over when students get off the bus back at school. Follow-up activities in the classroom can reinforce and put students' park reaming experiences into perspective, as well as build on the high levels of interest and enthusiasm generated by the field trip for some time to come. Some general ideas for post-trip activities are given below:
After the field trip, encourage students to discuss their I reactions to their field trip experiences: What did they I like the most? Least? And Why? Have their feelings or ideas changed about the Park? About the things I they saw there? How and why? Ask them--lf you were I giving a friend a tour of the Park, what would you show them first? Last? Not at all? Why?
If your students have done worksheet activities at the Park, go over them when you return to the classroom. Discuss their answers, ideas, experiences and any questions they have about what they saw and did. If the trip has generated as many questions as it has answered, has it been successful?
Newspapers or Newsletters
Have students write news articles for the school paper or publish a newsletter about their field trip experiences for their fellow students and parents. Divide up responsibilities for different topics or phases of the field trip among the students, and encourage them to interview one another and to illustrate their stories with sketches or cartoons.
Have the students write about their trip. Be sure to make a special spot in the classroom so others may read them, and sign "I have read book."
Tape record or videotape students' stories about and reactions to their field trip. You may wish to transcribe them and have students illustrate them to add to their park booklet. Or, the stories could be bound into a class volume about the trip.
Have students write thank you notes to their chaperons and or park personnel, and letters to their parents about their trip experiences. They could even design their own stationary using, signs, symbols or designs observed in the Park.
Banners and Posters
Ask students to think of their favorite thing they saw at the Park, and to create a banner or poster to encourage other people to visit the Park.
Certificates of Achievement
Make up certificates of achievement for students for successful completion of their field trip. Students may wish to color them and include them in their park journals.
Have students create murals about either the Civil War or their park experiences. If you took photographs on the field trip, these can be included in the mural or made into a bulletin board display about the trip.
Have students write poems, essays and stories based on their field trip, theme, or experiences. Encourage them to use their imagination to write about "What if...?" or "A Typical Day in the Life of ...? Have them write about imaginary people that might have experienced the Siege of Vicksburg, incorporating observations and information they learned on their field trip.
Design a Monument
Have students design a monument to their school, class or field trip. Students can draw or build the monument, put on display in the school or classroom.
Cinquain and Haiku
Select an topic and ask the students to write cinquain or haiku poems about it. A cinquain is a five line poem in which the first line consists of one word. The second line is two words which describe the first line. The third line consists of three words depicting an action. The fourth line consists of four words that convey feeling. And the fifth line is again one word which refers back to the first line. A haiku poems consists of three lines with 5, 7, 5 syllables respectively, and is usually about nature. Traditionally, both forms are rhymeless.
An example is given below:
Screaming, charging, exploding
Somber, fear, courage, resolve
Glistening, standing, remembering
Ancient warrior sleeps
Tracing Your Ancestors
Have students interview family members about stories they have heard of ancestors in the Civil War. Research library archives, churches, state archives etc... Have the students create a family tree.