The “Science” behind a Successful Field Trip to the Zoo.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine E. Matthews, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: A field trip to the local zoo is often a staple in many elementary school curricula. Many zoos offer free entry to local teachers and their students. Teachers take students on field trips to enrich the curriculum, make connections to what students are learning in school, and provide students with meaningful learning experiences (Kisiel 2007). However, teachers often struggle to find a balance between allowing students the opportunity to freely explore exhibits of their choice for their preferred time periods and making students adhere to a rigid lesson that limits their opportunities to wonder and discover but reinforces or introduces content that fits their curriculum. By providing students with opportunities to explore and develop their science process skills through multidisciplinary lessons, teachers can help students funnel their curiosity into meaningful learning experiences. The following lessons are examples of how to incorporate student curiosity and excitement about animals into grade-level appropriate activities for students before, during, and after zoo field trips. Each activity takes place over three class sessions, ranging from 30 min to 1 hr per session. The activities are divided into three grade levels: K–1, 2–3, and 4–5.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
elementary school, field trips, multidisciplinary, zoo, education, teacher education

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