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Hot List Q & A
FIELD TRIPS FOR ELLS

Question:
    My district has recently received funding for our K-5 ESL students to go on field trips or for speakers/presenters to come to us and talk to our ESL kids. Does anyone have any ideas/ suggestions for good places for ESL kids to go to or people I can contact to come to our school?

Reply 1:
    I am a big advocate for service learning for all children, so a field trip that I have taken my students on was to a local nursing home. My students are in middle school and high school, but they run the gamut of levels. We practiced a lot of role playing of conversations and brainstormed different topics of interest for conversation. The students wrote letters to the residents before going and when at the nursing home, the students were paired up with the residents who read their letters. The students spent time talking and then doing a craft with their new friends. We continued to correspond after our visit and just recently went back for a day of games with the residents. The students benefited so much from the real conversations and application of what we learn in class. Plus, the students felt so good about doing good for someone else. It really boosts their self-esteem. We are planning on hosting the residents at our school soon too. You can look into local services that might be more appropriate for your age group, but students can help out somewhere in the community at any age and level. Have fun!

Reply 2:
    I have taken ESL students to the Camden Aquarium and to The PaperMill Playhouse. Trailside Museum in Watchung might be able to bring animals etc. to your school to do a show. They also have a planetarium if you wish to go to the museum. Also, Kean University has good children's performances. Hope this helps.

Reply 3:
    I have taken ESL kids to Ellis Island and the statue of Liberty. Also the Science Museum for kids in Newark. Once I took them to the local town library where the children's librarian gave them a special tour. I worked closely with the town librarian to ensure that the trip would be a success. It was.

Reply 4:
    Waterloo Village has a great program for colonial America. There is also Morristown area. They have a program, check with the Morris County Historical Society. There is also the statue of Liberty.    

Reply 5:
    The Newark Museum: They also have hands-on workshops for students.

Reply 6:
    How about a hands on science museum or the American Museum of Natural History in NYC.

Reply 7:
    Movie theaters, playhouses, museums and parks.

2/7/07

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