4 Questions For A Successful Class Trip
By Rodrigo Leme, Education Backpack Content Developer
To say that planning a trip is a significant endeavour is an understatement. There is so much to think about and plan for, but we’re here to help. If you focus on the reason why you’re organizing the trip, what to expect during the journey, and what are the everlasting effects of this adventure for students and teachers alike.
Matching the right destination and preparation with the learning objectives is the key to success in such a project. To help, we put together four questions that should be answered to ensure a successful class trip. These will also help in the operational aspects, such as costs, fundraising initiatives, selling points for students/parents and a detailed, fun-filled itinerary.
What will this trip teach the group?
It all starts with the learning objectives. What are the main lessons the class should carry on from their travels into their lives? It is more than curriculum; it is about learning itself: music and art teaches creativity, history teaches critical thinking and the evaluation of sources, and so on.
So, try to create a single sentence that encapsulates the learning objectives for the trip, like “I want the students to connect with history so as to learn from our past to create a better future.” The message you want to convey will determine the whole scope of your trip.
Where could we go that would maximize this learning?
From the example above, you want to teach your class the importance of history. When you have this clear vision, it is time to make the list of desired / most adequate places. Want to make it about Remembrance Day in Canada? Go to the Canadian War Museum or Camp Hughes. Maybe the Batoche is an excellent choice to discuss the impact of the North-West rebellion on both the First Nations presence in Canada and on the coast to coast rail systems. Maybe you head to Europe to learn about the Canadian impact on World War 1 and 2.
Make a list of every place of significance that resonates with your big message, but pick one as your preferred destination to make planning more manageable. Then you can move to backup destinations if need be.
How much preparation will it take?
Depends. Organizing the actual logistics of the trip can be made easy with companies like ours, but there are lots of learning objectives before and after that you can explore with whatever time you have to commit. You can activate prior knowledge to see what students know about where they’re going, what they’re most interested in, and what important things they know nothing about. You can set up curriculum based scavenger hunts, fun writing/photography/art projects to be completed before/during/after the trip, and afterward you can revisit how students feel about certain topics (or connect with us for post travel talks on socially responsible traveling/consumerism/entrepreneurism).
Then there’s the nuts and bolts of traveling. If your trip involves hiking, you should make a list of what students should wear and take for the journey: water bottles, boots, backpacks, sun screen and on and on. That is different from a trip to a museum, where entirely different gear is needed. Put it in a list, so everyone is fully prepared.
How can the trip be funded?
Funding a trip may be a matter of requesting funds from the PAC, asking parents to pay for their sons and daughters, finding community sponsors, or selling fundraising items.
The previous questions gave you a sense of the whole journey, from what you expect to achieve with the trip to how you’re going to stimulate students and get them ready to get the most out of this adventure. That is the cornerstone of your pitch: make it relatable for those who can help you financially, make them join you in your vision and commitment to the project. Show you have a game plan, rather than just a wish list, and people will get on board.
If your project involves doing fundraising activities (which is a learning activity in itself) we may help you by connecting to some partners that provide fundraising items after we set you up with quotes and costs for the trip.
You may have the answers to these questions already, or maybe you’re stuck on one or even don’t know how to start it. Regardless of that, we at Education Backpack can help you with all your planning. Reach out to us, and we’ll give you full support, even before we start quoting. We want to make sure your trip is a success, so this is part of our duty. Please leave us a message and let us be part of your journey.