We took our annual third-grade field trip to the zoo. It was a beautiful day, and as usual, the kids had a blast.
In preparation for the field trip, our lead teacher made a great PowerPoint presentation, introducing the children to the zoo and showing them what to expect when we arrived. She also included what we expected from them during their visit. It was a really great way to prepare the students to have a good learning experience while at the zoo.
Since many of our students have already been to our local zoo, the lead teacher also designed a scavenger hunt to direct their focus throughout the day. I just love this since it gives the students a real purpose while walking through the zoo and enjoying the animals.
How does the scavenger hunt work? As the students find the various animals in the zoo, they mark on the scavenger hunt handout whether the animal is a bird, reptile, amphibian, or mammal. If it’s a mammal, they answer the additional question of hoofed, marine, flying, climbing, hunting, pouched, or gnawing.
There are also a few questions based on the zoo’s information boards. You know, the ones that kids wind up running past—but not if they are looking for something for the scavenger hunt! (To be fair, this is sometimes accomplished with help from our parent chaperones whom we greatly appreciate!)
You can download and make your own version of the zoo scavenger hunt by selecting the image below.
We also spend time in the zoo classroom to participate in the zoo program that allows the students to see and touch animals up close. No matter how many times the kids have been to the zoo, this is usually a new experience for all.
We always have a picnic lunch and top off the day with some playtime at the wonderful playground next to the zoo. When we return to school, we do a field trip follow-up by reviewing the scavenger hunt together. They did a wonderful job this year. We only misplaced one camera and one sack lunch, but those items turned up shortly after they went missing. I was so proud of the kids and the parents who came along to help me!
Over the weekend I copied a few of the pictures I took into animoto and shared them with the parents. This way they could enjoy a bit of our day. (Watch the video of our trip to the zoo.)
Where does your class go on field trips? What do you do to enhance your field trip experience? Most kids think any place is fun; most chaperones are ready for a nap when it’s all over!