Thursday, August 8, 2013

5 Days of Learning with Unit Studies - Field Trips


If you have been following along with this series, then you know that we have already chosen our topic of study and gathered lots of good literature.  We have talked about adding in some notebooking or lapbooks and doing some hands on activities. 

Now what??? 

What I like to do is go on a field trip, either at the beginning of a unit to create excitement or at the end of a unit to kind of crystallize what we have be learning.  We do not field trip all the time or every month even, but I do try to do them here and there.  My kids and I always enjoy them.

When we were on vacation we stopped in to the Visitor Center at Assateague Island.  There was a lot to see and do, we even earned Junior Ranger Badges.
 We don't live to far from Washington, DC.  So, for our study of the Revolutionary War we might visit Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington or Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.  We would look for an opportunity to watch a war reenactment or we might even visit Colonial Williamsburg.  

This past spring we did get to check out NASA's Visitor Center.
If we were doing a study on Botany, we would visit the nearby Botanical Gardens.  The NASA Visitors Center would be on our list if we were studying space.  

I love this one!  The boys are learning how to spin at a historic mansion nearby.
This spring and summer we have done a lot of field trips.  Some were tied into what we were learning, and some were just for the "fun of it."  Either way, the kids were always learning something.  We have even gotten into visiting local historical sites, I had no idea of some the rich local history right here in my county.  

Maple Sugaring!
Another place that has become a favorite for us are the local {and not so local} nature centers.  We have experienced maple sugaring, as well as learned about various critters.  We have explored the centers, most are very hands on with tons of things for the kids to touch and feel, which my kids LOVE! We have done nature scavenger hunts and hiked a few trails.  I have also had the kids bring colored pencils and a notebook, so that they could pick their favorite thing to draw and write about.

Learning about scat, first hand!
 I am learning that there are a lot of learning opportunities out there, if we are looking for them.  I would venture to say that they are field trips for most things that we study.  Sometimes we might have to get a little creative and think outside the box, but they are out there.  And when you get out there, your kids will be learning and love it!

At the American History Museum in DC.  The kids got a lesson from a weather man from the early 1800's.
What was your family's favorite field trip? 

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