Documenting a Field Trip

Before you go on a field trip, think of some ways to document it for follow-up work in the classroom.

Before you take a field trip, think of some ways to document your field trip. This is useful for documentation purposes and it can be useful for follow-up work that you might require your students to complete, such as a field trip report. Here are some ideas to help you do this:

  • Photos. Pictures are a great way to document a field trip. Consider providing each student with a single use or disposable camera. In addition to being quite inexpensive, you don't have to worry about them becoming lost.
  • Video. A video camera is another great way to document a field trip. Designate a camera operator for the day so that you are free to manage the field trip. The downside of using a video camera is that they are expensive and on a field trip there are usually lots of opportunities to lose or damage one.
  • Notes. Providing your students with a simple notepad or sketchpad is also a good way to have them document the field trip. Of course, you need to make sure they understand what kind of notes or sketches you want them to make!
  • Programs, maps, or pamphlets. If your field trip destination provides programs, maps, brochures, or other documents, take some copies home with you as documentation of your trip.
  • Exercises. If you have developed exercises that you want students to complete during the field trip, they can also serve as your documentation of the trip.
After you have completed a field trip, have your students complete any work you planned for the trip, such as writing a report or completing exercises. Consider having each student prepare a mini-report or scrapbook page for the trip by using photos they captured during the trip, along with captions or written descriptions.
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