We took our first field trip in fourth grade this past week. Usually for field trips I am able to pre teach what we are going to be doing. This time I was not able to do that since I was not sure what we were going to be doing. All I knew was that we were going to learn about North Carolina, and that it related our socials studies curriculum later in the school year. So for our field trip we went to ‘From farm to table’. We rotated around nine or ten different stations where we got a quick lesson about the farm life in North Carolina. The areas we got to learn about were: farming tools then and now, dairy cows, beef cows, honey bees, crops, tree products, chickens, water irrigation, and fruits vs. veggies. My students loved our adventure and were able to walk away with some new information.
Heres a quick over view of what we learned:
Fruits Vs. Veggies- What is the difference between them? How can we tell them apart? How to grow different fruits and veggies.
Chickens- The different breeds of chickens, what chickens are used for. Where we get our eggs from.
Crops- What crops are grown in North Carolina, how do they benefit everyone. Different ways they the crops are grown and harvested.
Farm tools then and now- the difference technology can make in farming and life
Beef cows- How the cows are raised, what they ate, and why we raise them to eat them.
Dairy cows- The different kinds of dairy cows, how much milk they produce and what they eat. We were also able to see a calf and learn about the different kinds of hay.
Honey Bees- Why the honey bee is important, how they make honey and pollenate our flowers.
Water irrigation- how different soils and land absorb water or allow it to run off.
Tree Products- what things are made from trees and how we use them daily and even though that trees are important alive they are also important for our other uses.
I was not sure how my students would respond to this trip since it was our first trip together. They were so engaged in and wanting to learn more. They had so many great questions and were wanting to know more. We were given 15-20 minutes at each station and my students did not want to leave any station because they had so many things they wanted to know.
We took our experience from the field trip and started a writing piece. Writing is something that is not scheduled into our school day and is integrate into all other subject areas (well at least it is supposed to be). They are working on a personal narrative about their trip and what they have learned. They were able to discuss with partners about what they learned ask each other questions to clear up any ideas they had.
I have learned over the past few years that writing is not something students enjoy. They dread it. Getting out our writing journals is usually such a struggle with a lot of moaning and groaning, even when the students get to pick their own topics. This year it was different. My students have been or at least seem to be excited about writing. They are enjoying getting to put their thoughts on paper and share them. I am excited to see where our ‘Farm to Table’ papers will go, and what my students are choosing to share because they found it exciting and important.