When you are an elementary school teacher, it can be challenging to coordinate a successful field trip. It is important to find a location that is budget-friendly, and engages the students in order to keep their attention for the duration of the trip. Most importantly, the school field trip must educate students in a fun way. Jill Gobel, a second grade school teacher at Charlton Heights Elementary School, found an instant favorite when she took her class on a field trip to Ellms Family Farm.
Tying the Saratoga field trip into the school curriculum.
Jill first learned about Ellms Family Farm when she started teaching 10 years ago. Her kindergarten class took a field trip there and it was very popular among the kids. Ten years later in October of 2016, Jill took her 2nd grade class to the farm during the communities study portion of their curriculum. During their studies, students learned about urban, suburban, and rural communities. The class’s visit to the local Saratoga County farm allowed students to see firsthand what rural living was like. Each student was then tasked with researching a specific building within the community. Using the information learned, they had to build their own building within their classroom city. One student even modeled his assignment after the farm (but named it after himself of course!) The corn maze and pumpkin patch also tied into their previous life study lessons, allowing students to see first-hand how corn and pumpkins were grown.
“I think it is one of those trips that really can be geared towards any age level. There is so much to do at that farm so I think even fifth graders would have just as much fun as our second graders had as did my kindergarteners ten years ago… I think that you can tie it into the curriculum for any grade.”
Interactive activities make for memorable field trip experiences.
The students were able to enjoy a wide variety of exciting activities on their farm visit. This included a corn maze, pumpkin picking, trolley rides, jumping pillows, and numerous interactive games. The kids raced around a track on pedal carts, and continued to tire themselves out jumping on the giant jumping pillow. The boys in the class absolutely loved the basketball toss game. It was a great way for the kids to exercise and enjoy the fresh air. Fresh apple cider and donuts were enjoyed by student, teachers, and parent chaperones alike.
Are you looking for fun field trip ideas? Ellm’s Family Farm provides the ideal classroom trip for schools in the Albany, Saratoga, and surrounding Capital District regions.
“Sally, who was my contact person for the whole trip, was wonderful. She provided an information sheet for what we would need to know before the trip and a whole map for the farm, which was wonderful to have ahead of time. They allowed TA’s to come for free which is always nice when field trips do that….and we were actually able to extend our stay for an extra hour and there was no problem with that. They are very flexible.”