Today I chaperoned my granddaughter’s first grade class on their last field trip of the school year. We went to our city’s zoo. I love field trips. They are a way for teachers to approach knowledge in a completely new form and for kids to have fun while learning. The children have a chance to experience hands-on education while also being introduced to new environments.
Most kids of this age have been to the zoo at least once in their lives. But when it’s a planned activity, through a school, educational criteria is involved and required.
Today we saw a reptile show. The kids got to pet an iguana, a snake, an armadillo, and a California deset turtle. We watched a hawk fly around the outdoor theater, going from one zoo keeper to another and landing on their arms. Fascinating how they never stray off course. We were introduced to a kinkajou and an African hedgehog.
As I was watching the children, I was amused by their attention span and how intent they were about learning about animals. I noticed a few students that have a hard time focusing in class were actually paying attention and excited about what they were learning.
As we were leaving, we stopped to say goodbye to the chimpanzees that were sitting and staring at us from inside their cage. There was a zoo keeper nearby and he asked the children if they thought these primates were monkeys. The children said “yes!” Well, we learned they are not. They do not have tails and that means they are apes. I think they learned a lot today and had a lot of fun doing it.