Every fall, the 5th grade class travels to Philadelphia, PA. We leave bright and early on a Wednesday morning and arrive back at school Friday evening. The kids always have a blast – for most, this is their first time away from home and it couldn’t be more exciting!
There is always so much to do before the trip. After I confirm all of our reservations, I create our itinerary which gets sent to the parents so they have an idea of what our trip will look like. Each student gets a little booklet that includes rules for the trip, a list of items to pack, our itinerary, and other miscellaneous things. I have to recruit parents to chaperone, decide which kids will be together with which parents, determine how much cash to bring with me, ask parents to send in snacks for the trip, make up packets of travel games for the kids, create a phone chain of parents so that I am not calling all 14 when we arrive/depart, and so much more.
While the trip is a lot of responsibility, it is honestly one of my favorite parts of teaching 5th grade at my school! I love that I get to share in this brand new experience with them. I love watching the joy on their faces as they see George Washington’s headquarters in Valley Forge or the Liberty Bell in the city. I love seeing their excitement as they eat a Philly cheesesteak for the first time. I love how much they look forward to the trip for the first two months of school and how they ask me a new question every day about it!
One thing I try and emphasize with my students is how blessed they are to be able to take a trip like this. In most schools, this kind of trip would not be an option, but we are able to see the history we are learning about in person. What better way to learn than to see what you are learning about first hand?!
Our trip involves so many exciting places and activities, including a visit to Valley Forge, an interactive class on Benjamin Franklin and his life, a trip to the National Constitution Center to see the powerful Freedom Rising movie and check out Signers Hall (one of the kids’ favorite places on the trip – it is full of lifesize bronze statues of the men who signed the Constitution!), a walking tour of the city where we will visit Elfreth’s Alley, Christ Church, the US Mint, and the Liberty Bell, and a quick tour of Independence Hall. On the way home, we will visit the Daniel Boone Homestead.
This is obviously my favorite field trip and every year I look forward to it as much as the kids do. How about you? What is your favorite field trip with your class??
The Liberty Bell on our last trip to Philly.