When our youngest two boys were 9 and 10, we took an insanely awesome field trip through the Western United States. Imagine this: 17 days, 14 states, the Navajo Nation, 10 National Parks and Monuments, two science museums, a ghost town, and three large cities. It was fabulous.
My boys were exposed to natural wonders like spectacular lightning storms, mountains, geysers, tar pits, paint pots, enormous caverns, red rock arches and balanced rocks, the Grand Canyon, and petrified trees. In just 17 days, they encountered a wide array of animals: insects as big as their feet, wolf packs, elk, bison, and thousands of bats. Watching the bats come flying out of the main entrance to the Carlsbad Caverns at dusk was truly spectacular.
Our family loves hiking and climbing and there was plenty of that going on. We hiked through Arches National Park and climbed inside Native American cliff dwellings, underground kivas, and big brick castles. True story: I almost fell off the Grand Canyon. It was one of the most terrifying moments of my life and I’m still not sure how I stopped right before sliding over the edge. Sand stone is super slippery. I’m calling it God’s hand of protection on my life. (So watch your kids on sandstone, too!)
Notebooking Our Field Trip in a Travel Journal
I made a field trip and travel journal for my boys to take on our journey, but it really didn’t work out for our kids to write during our trip. I know I read a lot about car-schooling, but that would never fly in our family. Our boys cherish car trips. They provide so much space for observation, and (if we’re going to be honest here) eating and sleeping.
When we got home, I printed our photos and the boys journaled about each site they’d visited. They marked their maps, pasted in photos and paper souvenirs like tickets, and listed all of the places they’d been. We worked on notebooking about one place each day, so it took us a good three weeks or so to do all of our writing. We just skipped any writing classes in our curriculum during that time.
My boys have a wonderful record of their trip, they did their notebooking soon enough after our return to really remember the events, and they were able to think critically about everything they saw and did.
Our field trips and travel since have been shorter–mostly one-day trips, but those trips have been important learning journeys for our kids. They notebook about each journey and mark it on their map, including photos from the trip.
If you’ve been around Thinking Kids for any time at all, you know I’m a huge fan of the practice of notebooking. My children are excellent writers because of it.
Keeping a field trip and travel journal for each child has been a wonderful experience for our family and I wanted to share that with you as well, so that your kids can benefit from the practice.
My Field Trip and Travel Journal
The My Field Trip and Travel Journal is a wonderful record of trips for your children, with watercolor artwork and quotes from Christian history throughout.
Your kids will keep track of:
- Places They’ve Been
- Places They’d Like to Go
- Mapping Their Journeys
- A Record of Their Trips
- Trip Dates
Your kids will learn:
- To Keep Lists
- About Geography
- Where They Are in the World
- Notetaking Skills
- Basic Memoir Story Writing
- To Plan Trips on the Calendar
Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going
Do you remember all of the trips you went on as a child? Neither do I. There are some I remember, but I don’t know the location. Your children will have a permanent record of the places they’ve explored! There are two lists for your children to use.
- Places They’ve Been
- Places They’d Like to Go
As your children fill out the list of places they’ve been, remember to prompt them about day trips and small field trips as well as vacations and road trips. The one-hour trip to a factory to see cheese made is an important field trip and should be recorded.
Mapping Our Journeys
Your child will have the opportunity to map where they’ve been and to plan where they’d like to go. Your child’s journal will have blank continent maps and country maps of the United States and Canada.
- Label the Countries of the World
- Mark Where They’ve Been
- Show Where They’d Like to Go
- Color in Different Countries
- Mark Their Home Location
A Record Of My Trips
The My Field Trip and Travel Journal provides four pages of structured notes for each trip. Your child’s journal will have space to record 31 journeys.
- Where They Went
- The Date of Their Trip
- What They Saw
- Who Went With Them
- Three Things They Learned
- A Story About Their Trip
- Drawings and Photos About Their Trip
Coordinating Resources We Love
Bible Road Trip: A 3-Year Bible Curriculum for Preschool through High SchoolWhen Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin LutherWonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to BirthNeenah Astrobrights Premium Color Card Stock, 65 lb, 8.5 x 11 Inches, 250 Sheets, Stardust WhiteCrayola Fun Effects Mini Twistables Crayons, 24-Count, 1 packCrayola Different Colored Pencils, 100 Count, Adult ColoringTruBind 10 Mil 8-1/2 x 11 Inches PVC Binding Covers – Pack of 100, Clear (CVR-10ASN)TruBind TB-S20 Spiral Coil Binding Machine (TB-S20)TruBind 8-1/2 x 11 Inches 12 Mil Sand Texture Polycovers – Pack of 100, Black (CSD12-ASBK)TruBind 20mm (3/4-Inch) Standard Black Coil Bindings, Pack of 50 (COIL20-BK)TruBind Heavy-Duty Coil Cutting and Crimping Tool
Field Trip and Travel Stickers
Your journal comes a page of field trip and travel badges your child can cut out and paste to the calendar to mark important trip dates. There is space to write the field trip destination on each sticker.
- To Keep Track of Dates
- To Plan Ahead
- To Anticipate Their Field Trips
How to Print and Use the Journal
I suggest you print the My Field Trip and Travel Journal duplexed (double-sided) on a thicker paper like white cardstock. You can have it coil bound at your local supply store, or you can do it yourself. (I really wish I’d purchased my own coil binding machine. It would have saved me so much time and money!)
The My Field Trip and Travel Journal will give your kids a permanent record of their trips, and will help them really think through what they’ve seen and learned!
More Posts You’ll Love
Bible Road TripSpiritual Disciplines Calendar for KidsThe Absolutely Enormous List of Christian History BooksMemorize Bible Verses with Bible Road Trip™My Book Log: A Notebooking JourneyTimeline Creator: World History Timeline for KidsFive Things That Occur When I Complain About My Children26 Fabulous Christian Picture Books for ChildrenHomeschool Resource and Curriculum Planning – Why it Matters
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