Field Trip FAQs
What happens before each trip?
Before each trip, our staff visits your class to discuss expectations, answer questions, and facilitate an activity to get students ready for their outdoor adventure.
On field trip day, before leaving the school, our staff discusses our expectations and planned activities with chaperones. This chaperone meeting is out of earshot of students, and is a critical component of each filed trip, as adults' attitudes can encourage or destroy a child's enthusiasm for being in the woods.
What will we do during each trip?
After we arrive at the site, we start with a gross motor activity to burn off the excitement and/or nervousness that going to the woods can incite. Next, we discuss our expectations and planned activities before breaking into small groups accompanied by chaperones.
The activities are loosely organized around three themes: 1. Where are we? 2. What's here? 3. Let's play! These themes support Wonder Woods' mIssion by focusing on safety, curiosity, and joy, respectively. Orienting oneself helps calm nerves that come with feeling unsafe in an unfamiliar space. Identifying the myriad forms of life and their roles in natural systems are crucial to supporting students' curiosity about our biosphere. And playing is where the real learning happens: so much learning comes from loving, and so much love comes from play. We want students to experience natural spaces on their own terms so they can feel a sense of real connection.
Our first activity typically combines themes 1 & 2 by using a map to get to different parts of the woods and then doing different tasks at each location to explore what's there. Our activities help students understand different components in the ecosystem so they can understand different outcomes from changes to that system—including human-induced changes.
The second activity may be an art or building project, or could be journaling and reflection. For both the first and second activities, we work with teachers to include art, poetry, ecology, math, physics, and natural and social history, depending on the grade and current or recent topics covered in the classroom. Next, we allow kids some time to play. This is typically semi-structured, with an invitation to participate in a playful activity. We close with a reflection of what we learned.
What will teachers do during the trip?
We strongly encourage teachers to be available to document learning as it happens, using pictures and notes. This has three uses: first, we use it in the reflection process at the end, offering students a chance t otell a story about what they were thinking or experiencing at a particular point in time. Second, it gives teachers the chance to reflect on how students change when they are outside. (Watch carefully—many behavioral problems may disappear!) And third, it illustrates the value of the trip for administrators, other teachers, and parents.
To be available to document the learning, we ask teachers to recruit enough chaperones so that teachers themselves do not need to lead a group.
What happens after each trip?
The day after the field trip, Wonder Woods staff returns to the classroom to discuss what we learned, answer any questions, and conduct a post-trip activity that reinforces key ideas from the trip.
What are the limits on class size?
Wonder Woods can currently take a maximum of 90 children on a field trip on any given day. If you would like to bring more than 90 students, we will work to coordinate schedules so that trips are as close in time to one another as possible.
Our field trips can be tailored to fit your learning goals, current or recent units, or any interesting ideas you've been thinking about trying out. Contact us to start a discussion about the wonderfully deep learning Wonder Woods can offer your students.