Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Pre-Visit Lesson Plan Ideas

Making Connections

Before you venture out on your field trip, it is important to make connections between what you are learning in the classroom and on the field trip. By building your field trip experience into your classroom experience, you can deepen your students' learning and their engagment in the subject.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the big idea of this field trip?

  • What inquiry science unit does this field trip support?

  • How can I make connections before, during and after the field trip to the inquiry science unit?  

 

Prepare your Students

Offer one or two short lessons before heading out on your field trip that illustrate a couple of concepts:

  • Introduce the main idea of the trip.

  • Introduce important vocabulary, knowing that you will review this vocabulary after the field trip.

  • Prepare students for museum behavior and activities.

Examples of Pre-Visit Lesson Plans for Field Trips to the National Air and Space Museum:

 

Field Trip Stories

Another great way to engage your students before their field trip is to prepare them through a "Field Trip Story". Field Trip Stories are very visual and can assist students in thinking ahead about their field trip. This preparation is especially helpful for students who are going on a field trip for the very first time, or for students who are easily overwhelmed by changing their routine.

Here is an example of a Field Trip Story for a field trip to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. You can use this template for any field trip that you take. You can create the story on a Power Point and show it on your interactive white board or projector during circle time, or you can print the images for your students to hold and pass around during circle time. You can even post the images on a board in your classroom for parents to see. This may even encourage parents to join you for the field trip!