Today we had our very first field trip (or excursion, for those who prefer the term) of the year. We, along with the rest of the school (with the exception of Kindergarten) went to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to watch a show called Tales of the Pacific Rim. In preparation for this, my grade level partner and I have been teaching our classes about the nations of the Pacific Rim, discussing their cultures and stories, mostly by reading from a wide selection of books on the topic.
The students were pretty excited, and we worked hard at establishing a high level of expectation. I don’t think a day went by during the previous two weeks that she or I didn’t remind our young charges that they had to show that they could handle going on a field trip by showing that they could be respectful, responsible, and safe in the classroom. I am pleased that they stepped up and showed that they could do it.
After returning to school, we talked about what the students most enjoyed about the performance and also the parts that surprised them or left them with questions. The favourite part was almost unanimously Brenda Wong’s telling of the story of Sun Wukong (the Monkey King), focusing on the mischief he caused in the Heavenly Kingdom (scroll down through the Wikipedia page to find a good synopsis). Several students were surprised to see just one actor on stage, so we talked a bit about the difference between watching a storyteller and watching a full stage production.
The rest of the day passed quickly, with the students getting back, going to lunch (about half an hour later than usual), and then doing our read aloud and some silent reading while I worked with a couple of students on the math assessment we did yesterday. And then they went to fine arts, we had our daily class meeting, and that was that!
It was a good day with great student behaviour at the Krannert Center. I am hoping we will have opportunities to return again, as well as to go on other field trips throughout the year. The students definitely showed that they can handle themselves outside the school!