Last year we went to Cahokia Mounds as a 5th grade field trip that connected to our study of Native Americans. We had a great time, and were able to connect many things we had learned to what we saw there. But last year we went AFTER our study.
And this year, we (well, Mrs. Hong really) had the idea that we go BEFORE our study, as a way to build background knowledge. GENIUS idea!
So we planned our journey for early in September instead of later, and also figured out a way to make the trip better in another way: kids had a job to do. And they got to take their iPads with them to do it!
Here was the message waiting for them in their inbox that morning:
What a fun day we had learning, walking and climbing mounds together. 🙂 And wow–I’ve already seen friends making connections between what they saw on that day and what we’re reading about in class. SO glad we decided to go there first.
The project we gave them to do worked out really well to keep everyone engaged in learning, even in an unstructured setting like a field trip! AND everyone’s iPad came back in one piece. 🙂 Here are some highlights from the Pic Collage projects they made to show their answer to the EQ “What is a community?”.
What’s even better, is that this was an assessment for what our friends had learned during all of our work on building community in our classroom. And here I thought it was a pre-assessment/schema building activity for Cahokia! Don’t you love two-birds-one-stone kinds of assignments? 🙂