Field trips offer new opportunities for learning, and up close hands on experiences. They stimulate new questions, ideas, and projects among students and teachers.
Janet Mansmann, senior coordinator of social studies curriculum for San Antonio Independent School District, notices the same thing.
“Some of them just ask the most incredible questions,” she said. “The way they looked at the art and the relics … they would see it in a way that I never even looked at it before.”
Students may think of field trips as a fun day off campus with their friends; what they might not realize is they’re still learning — even more sometimes than they do in their classrooms. Along with SAMA, some of the other top field trip spots in San Antonio are the Witte Museum, Magik Theatre and San Antonio Zoo.
The opportunity to walk through an exhibit, see a show or participate in hands-on activities that reinforce lessons being taught in the classroom makes a difference in a variety of ways. Students who are more visual or kinesthetic learners tend to thrive in a field trip environment, experts say.
“They respond because they’re not sitting in a room, looking forward,” Smith said. “Our collection really lends itself to learning about multiculturalism and history through the lens of an artist.”
The Witte Museum offers field trip programs that concentrate on South Texas heritage, natural history and science. The curriculum for each complies with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, the state’s education standards, said Witte President and CEO Marise McDermott.
“School programs are fundamental to our mission, and particularly to have them be engaging and interactive,” McDermott said.
For the heritage lesson, students see a presentation in the museum’s South Texas Heritage Center gallery theater, handle artifacts and examine the museum’s collection of paintings and photography.
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