Today we went on our year-end trip to the African Lion Safari. One of the first questions that appears on a field trip form is what expectations will be met by this trip? Since field trips are supposed to be for educational purposes, I always try to have my students complete a follow-up activity after we come back from a trip. Usually the students write a journal entry or a blog post. Since our trip to the African Lion Safari was our final field trip for the year, and it was on a Friday too, I wasn’t sure what kind of follow-up activity to do, but I thought that I would come up with something on Monday.
Then today I was amazed! Just as we were boarding the bus this morning, one of my Grade 2 students said to me, “Miss Dunsiger, I’m so excited! I packed a notebook to bring with me on the trip. I’m going to write down everything that I learned today!” Wow! What a great idea! I figured that this student might record one or two points that he could share once we got back to school. On the bus ride home though, he showed me his notebook. He had 10 pages full of notes detailing what he learned today. I was amazed!
Click on this photograph to take you to an online book of this student’s work. Please note that some pages may be difficult to read because of the glare.
I never asked any of my students to do this, but based on interest alone, this child created one of the best field trip activities ever! He made this day about learning, and it’s clear that he learned a lot. To me, this is a great example of why we have to give students control over their own learning, for often they will amaze us with what they can do.
On Monday, we’ll be reflecting on today’s trip. Thanks to this student, I’m not going to just give one follow-up activity, but instead I’m going to make some suggestions and see what the students do. I can’t wait to see what they share!