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Patrick Halbrook

Field Trips for High Schoolers

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For some reason, at our school students go on a lot of field trips in grades K-5 but hardly any after they reach middle school. I don't think this is intentional, but I can think of a few reasons why this may be, and I suspect the same thing happens at a lot of schools.

Do your middle or high schoolers go on any field trips? If so, where, and which have been the most successful?

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We have a few field trips that we do in middle and upper schools--often combined with grammar schools.

When the students in grammar and logic are learning about the solar system, they take a trip together to the local planetarium.

When the students in grammar and logic are learning about animal kingdoms, they take a trip together to the local zoo.

We have a dedicated Marine Biology class for seniors, and they take a monthly trip to the bay to take samples.

The Jrs. and Srs. take a trip to Washington D.C. and NYC in alternating years.

The Srs. take a trip with the Kindergarteners to pick strawberries.

There are a few others I'm probably missing as well. Pedagogically, I think the combined grammar/logic trips give the older students an opportunity to serve the smaller children and gain some experience with responsibility. I'm not sure how much they get academically. The Marine Biology trips are very good experience. The Jr./Sr. trips are very rewarding, but also require a lot of fundraising. The Sr./K5 trip is mostly just fun.

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I have wondered about some sort of partnership with local or state businesses or political leaders to create "job fair" days, or meet your representative day? What about trips to a symphony or play? Especially if it could be coupled with a sort of unit on "protocol" - how to dress for certain occasions, how to treat a 3-5 course meal/place setting. 

Do your schools put on dances - of the Elizabethan sort, not Pretty in Pink. We attended a classical education conference that was for FAMILIES! And the children learned about protocol while adults were in workshops. But that night they had a sit down meal and then we all gathered to do Caller types dances. It was a FANTASTIC event and evening. 

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Our school has a formal dance in the late Winter (February) that they spend several weeks learning the dances and etiquette for. It has gone very well and many of the parents (and teachers) have participated.

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Posted (edited)

On the topic of "job fair" days, we tried that out for the first time this year and it went very well. Parents from a wide variety of careers came in and talked with students, who signed up to attend sessions on different topics. We also have three high school dances each year, some less formal and some more so.

JTB, I love the idea of having the seniors and kindergarteners hang out and pick strawberries together. I hadn't thought of having different grade levels combine trips.

As I said, we don't have much going on in middle school or high school, but here's what we do right now:

  • Every year our seniors go on a service trip, previously to Costa Rica, and now to San Diego.
  • The juniors and seniors also visit university and seminary libraries to do thesis research--but for some strange reason, it doesn't feel like a "real" field trip to them 🙂
  • I take the 11th grade European History students to the North Carolina Museum of Art every year. We study a lot of art history in that class, and the museum is only 20 minutes away and has a great European art collection covering the Renaissance up through the Impressionist period. The students are able to recognize artists and styles of art from particular periods, and the museum allows schools to sign up for guided tours free of charge.
Edited by Patrick Halbrook

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On 4/24/2019 at 9:35 AM, JTB_5 said:

Our school has a formal dance in the late Winter (February) that they spend several weeks learning the dances and etiquette for. It has gone very well and many of the parents (and teachers) have participated.

I love it! I think it is a fantastic way to model having a good time in groups in acceptable ways.  AND with adults! 

This coming year I will be in charge of scheduling a field trip to attend a symphony and/or a visit to a fine arts museum. We also have to facilitate a "protocol" dinner in which skills of formality are exhibited through a fine dining experience. I was trying to figure out how we might turn it into a dinner and dance. Maybe if we ate from 5:30-7:30 and danced till 10pm. Thinking through this this summer. 

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42 minutes ago, Cheryl Floyd said:

I love it! I think it is a fantastic way to model having a good time in groups in acceptable ways.  AND with adults! 

This coming year I will be in charge of scheduling a field trip to attend a symphony and/or a visit to a fine arts museum. We also have to facilitate a "protocol" dinner in which skills of formality are exhibited through a fine dining experience. I was trying to figure out how we might turn it into a dinner and dance. Maybe if we ate from 5:30-7:30 and danced till 10pm. Thinking through this this summer. 

Good luck! If you want some help planning, I can put you in touch with someone here who did a lot of the planning. I know our event was pretty intensive because they had a theme each year and had volunteers help decorate and set it up. Let me know!

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7 hours ago, JTB_5 said:

Good luck! If you want some help planning, I can put you in touch with someone here who did a lot of the planning. I know our event was pretty intensive because they had a theme each year and had volunteers help decorate and set it up. Let me know!

Send me the info, many counselors = success or more success anyway!

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