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Making the Most of Your Social Studies Field Trips

The Utah State Legislature awarded funds to enable schools to visit the Utah State Capitol. These funds will pay for the transportation costs for a field trip.

Applications are now being taken and funds will be allocated in a continuous dispersal process until the need has been met or the funds have been expended.

You will need your school's tax ID number in order to apply, so please get that number first, as it is needed to reimburse approved expenses.

Application

You will need to work with the Utah State Capitol in order to arrange tours. View details.

You can couple your trip to the Capitol with a visit to other sites in the Salt Lake valley. Here are some suggestions.

Twelve Simple Steps for the Best Field Trips Ever!

  1. Plan everything well in advance. Call to schedule the field trip or request an educational fee waiver, get a confirmation, and make necessary arrangements for school and parental permission and transportation.
  2. Plan the educational experiences and activities for the field trip. Share this with all the teachers and chaperones involved.
  3. Make field trip planning part of in-class learning. Use pre-visit activities to help prepare the students for the field trip.
  4. Get the "nuts and bolts" before you start. Know how to get to the field trip site, how long it will take, and where you will have lunch. Bring along any supplies and materials needed for activities that you have planned.
  5. Develop very clear learning objectives and share them! Make sure that the students and other teachers know these objectives.
  6. Chaperoning is not a spectator sport! Chaperones can be a big help if they understand their role.
  7. Use nametags on everyone! Make sure that even the teachers and chaperons are wearing readable nametags. It also helps to divide large groups into smaller "sub-groups" before the trip and color code their name tags.
  8. Keep the students engaged. Encourage the students to participate in the activities but remember you are responsible for their behavior.
  9. Keep students accountable for learning. A field trip is not a day off from school! Did you accomplish the planned learning objectives?
  10. Encourage independent observation time. Constructive "free time" can help make the trip more memorable.
  11. Bring the experience back home. Use post-visit activities back in the classroom to make the field trip relevant and reinforce concepts.
  12. Use evaluations and sharing. Improvements can only be made through honest feedback and evaluation.

Source: http://www.nps.gov/shen/learn/education/upload/12_steps.pdf

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