Field trips are the most exciting thing about any class for the vast majority of students, young and old. Any opportunity to get out of the sometimes boring and predictable classroom setting is something students will enjoy. But when planning a field trip, the first priority is deciding where you want to take your class. It needs to be fun, informative, and accommodating for all students involved, regardless of disability. With these criteria in mind, here are a few reasons you should be taking your students to local museums.
Hearing about forms of art or historical events is one thing. Coming face to face with a civil war bayonet or a locally crafted glass sculpture is something entirely different. Students may be interested in the subjects and photos of your lessons but seeing an exhibit on the topic goes above and beyond what any classroom experience can.
Hearing about your topic second hand, whether it be art, science, history, or others, is only interesting to a point. Taking your students to the source of the information is far more likely to intrigue even the most difficult student. Seeing physical pieces of history and making that lesson tangible takes your lesson from secondhand information to a firsthand experience.
With the volume of information teachers are required to pass on, it can become very easy for students to forget important lessons. Some things will take a back burner while others might simply slip away during the educational onslaught. However, if you teach a lesson then take your class to a museum on the subject, they become far less likely to forget what they have learned.
You may teach, for example, that human beings existed alongside wooly mammoths. With all the other natural history there is to learn, they may forget which extinct animals were still around when humans arrived. However, if they visit a natural history museum and see an exhibit with humans hunting a wooly mammoth, they are suddenly much more likely to remember.
Many museums are entering the modern age. They recognize that their visitors have differing abilities and learn in different ways. Museum apps are becoming more and more common, providing digital maps, self-guided tours, virtual tours for absentee students, and even games. These supplemental apps alongside visual aids and written information make learning easy for all.
The activities offered in many museums are another way the establishments help ensure that everyone can enjoy what they have to offer. Movies, hands-on activities, volunteer-led displays and discussion, and even workshops give each of your students a way to absorb the information, regardless of how they learn or what their abilities are.
While any field trip can add educational value to your lessons, a trip to a museum is likely one of the best places to take your students. Museums cover a wide variety of topics, center themselves on education, and are often very willing to work with educators. A museum trip can help solidify the important aspects of your lessons while giving the students a chance to get out of the classroom and remember how fun learning can be. And best of all, no matter the lesson, odds are there is an applicable museum nearby for your student to enjoy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
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