Thursday, 1 September 2011

Recording Field trip experiences

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you will know my family loves field trips! We go on many!!! We love to travel and will take advantage of any learning opportunity that comes our way in the form of a field trip whether we are studying that topic at that particular moment or not. Since beginning our home schooling journey 3 years ago I have change the method of how we record the educational value of our field trips many times. I wouldn't say there was a method to my madness more of just what feels right at the time.

Our first method was having the children narrate what they experienced while Daddy type it up on the computer. I would then add it to their monthly file folder. My husband would pretty much type it up exactly as the children told it to him. Here is an example:

Entry from Princess journal April 21, 2010

Today we went to a place where we could see a man who was frozen in ice. The town was in Italy and was named Bolzano. The scientists nicknamed the body “Otzi”. The story of how the iceman was found was that people were walking near a glacier and found him sticking out of the ice. He was so deep in the ice that at first nobody could get him out, but they eventually got him out. They didn’t know that he was a person who had been frozen in the ice five thousand years ago. They thought he was a man who died recently in the glacier. They brought him to a morgue, where dead people are brought, and somebody noticed that this wasn’t just a normal person who had died. They had to get him back into a freezer quickly so the scientists could study him and the body wouldn’t decay. They found lots of other things near the iceman, too, like a bearskin cap, clothes, fur, an axe and a bow and arrows. We saw the body of the iceman; it was very gross. Eventually scientists figured out that the iceman died because he was murdered; he got into a fight and was injured in the hand. He tried to escape but eventually somebody shot an arrow into his shoulder.

Journal entry from Little Man April 20. 2010:

Today we went to Neuschwanstein Castle. We saw a cave room in part of the castle. The king really liked it with colors. The lights had lots of colors. There were a lot of pictures, and we took the English language tour. The Germans took the German language tour. There were a lot of stairs in the castle. We took a bus up to Neuschwanstein Castle; we got to a lot of castles. I liked the bus, and it was made by a company named Man. After the castle, we drove to the hotel and we snowbanks on top of the mountains. You can go skiing on those snowbanks.

Another way I tried was having the children create their own mini books of the trips. I took as many pictures of the activity as I could and print them out. The children would use the pictures to write a caption of the activity in the picture and make a book. Here is an example:

Princess book on making a pizza at a restaurant 2009

Little Man's mini book on making pizza at a Pizza restaurant 2009

As the children have gotten older I purchased journals and have the children draw a picture and write about what they saw or did for the activity. Here is an example of a journal entry:

Princess Journal entry

Little Man's journal entry

Lastly, we take advantage of the learning programs offered by the museum, castles or national trust sites. Many have simple children's pages to fill out, looking for certain exhibits, or going on a scavenger hunt. We will often get the children's audio guide while looking around a place because they are usually filled with fun interesting stories to keep the kids entertained.

Scavenger hunt at Ely Stain Glass museum

Nature trail, answering clues to find the next hidden object

So I used many methods of trying to get me kids to remember what they have seen and learned on a field trip! I would love to know what methods your family uses so drop me a line if you can.

If you love taking field trips with your children why not check out The Field Trip Hop. Today, September 1st opens up a new month of linking up all your wonderful adventures. Share where you are going and how you document your field trips.


  1. I continue to enjoy following your posts because I learn so much from the field trips you take.
    Blessings to you and keep on enjoying those moments.

  2. Hi Anna-Marie, who can say they are able to take advantage of learning programs at a nearby castle? Lucky you and your family!! These memories will last a life time.

  3. I like that you have tried so many methods! I especially like using the things that come from the site, it seems more meaningful. I'll post to the field trip blog hop soon. We've been kind of lazing around for the last couple of weeks. School doesn't start until after Labor Day around here. I prefer to stay away from popular field trips until the PS kids go back to school, so things aren't so crowded. Even then, I avoid doing field trips on Fridays, which are the most popular days for school field trips. I'd rather go during the summer than deal with a school field trip, where you have these poor parents/chaperones trying, unsuccessfully mind you, to control groups of kids they don't even know.

  4. Checking out your blog for the first time... love the NOBH concept and am looking forward to participating. I'm not 'following' you! Have a great weekend!

  5. What treasures your kids will have for a lifetime! Not only do they have such wonderful memories of all your experiences, but they will look back on all their journal entries with great pride and joy! I can't help but get a little "field trip envy" as your family is able to experience so much hands on learning that I know my children would love to do. But, I'm so glad you are taking advantage of your time in England and visiting all kinds of places for us to learn about as we follow your blog :) Clicked a vote for you and hoping you are having a blessed weekend! :)

  6. Wonderful ideas! I have the kiddos draw pictures since they are so young. However, if we go to a National Park they do the Jr. Ranger program too. I Love all the National Park booklets that they have to keep children focused! Sometimes we can find State Parks that have a similar program.