Visiting the apple orchard is one of my favorite fall field trips! Kids love seeing how apple cider is made, taking a hayride through the orchard, and of course picking apples. It is a lot of work to prepare for an educational field trip, and using the apple orchard scavenger hunt and field trip activities you can maximize learning both at the apple orchard and back in the classroom!
Before you begin make sure you have the following:
- Submit School Forms for Approval (and Bus Request Forms)
- Informational Letter to Parents and Student Permission Slips
- Field Trip Survival Kit (one for each volunteer)
- Student Materials (in this case, clipboard, pencil, and apple orchard scavenger hunt handout)
Every school is different in terms of the approval procedures in place. Be sure to make sure you fill out all paperwork in order to get approval from both your principal and school district before you do anything else. Once you have an approved date, then move on to scheduling the trip, securing transportation, and notifying parents about visiting the apple orchard!
Apple Orchard Field Trip Letter to Parents
Next send home a letter with students about the fun-filled field trip your class will be taking! Be sure to remind students to dress for the weather, wear appropriate shoes as they will do a lot of walking, and describe lunch procedures for the day. Looking for parent volunteers? This first letter is a great way to let parents know you need their help and to get an idea of how many helpers you will have for the big day. Be sure to add a portion that gets returned to school indicating permission to attend as well as those interested in helping.
Field Trip Survival Kit
Prior to the big day I put together a little kit for each of my parent volunteers. I have found that this not only helps the field trip run more smoothly, but that it keeps everyone on the same page and helps to alleviate worries my parent volunteers may have. On the day of the field trip, each kit contains:
- Schedule of Events: Handout with times of different activities, meeting places, and a map of the orchard).
- Emergency Card: This includes any information they may need to get ahold of me or another teacher while at the orchard (cell phone numbers, etc.)
- Sticky Nametags: One for each student in their group.
- Hand Sanitizer
- Baby Wipes (small package)
Additionally, I bring a small backpack/shoulder bag to hold all emergency contact forms for each of my students in addition to the items in the kits.
Students will need to bring a sack lunch for most visits. Depending upon the orchard you are visiting, some allow students to take home an apple they have picked as well. In this case some sort of bag to carry it in would be useful. I have my students bring a clipboard, pencil, and the apple orchard scavenger hunt handout in addition to the above items to use while on the field trip.
I LOVE using a scavenger hunt to keep students engaged during a field trip. Students enjoy the challenge of finding the items on the list. A scavenger hunt also serves as a great guide. It will make sure students visit all of the places you want them to go whether they are with you, a parent volunteer, or exploring on their own.
I have two different types of scavenger hunt pages I use depending upon the grade level I am taking. One version is a simple checklist of all of the things they might observe while visiting. The second includes a fact space for students to record interesting facts they hear while learning about each item. This section is especially helpful for whole group instruction once we return to the classroom as it helps students to remember details about all of the fun things we got to see and do.
Back in the Classroom
Students get so excited about learning that happens on a field trip. I love taking that enthusiasm and carrying it back to the classroom, and an apple orchard field trip provides lots of opportunities for continued learning. The following are 5 of my favorite follow-up activities:
Apple Tree Seasons Cut and Paste Activity
This fun activity allows students to complete a puzzle displaying the way an apple tree changes through the four seasons with descriptions.
Lifecycle Cut and Paste Activity
Students create the lifecycle of an apple tree and describe each step on the lines provided.
Apple Orchard Field Trip Class Book
Students use these writing pages to describe their favorite parts of the field trip, list facts they learned, and put them together in a fabulous Apple Orchard Field Trip Class Book to remember how much fun they had.
Apple Orchard Map Activity
As a class we review map skills and each student creates a map of the apple orchard as well as practices using directional words as they recreate the path they took through the orchard.
Finally, we take a group survey to find out which things about the trip everyone liked the best. This is a great way for students to continue the conversation about the things they got to experience while practicing graphing skills.
Field trips are such a blast and the apple orchard field trip is definitely a fall favorite. If you loved the apple orchard scavenger hunt and accompanying activities and want to do these exact activities with your students, you can grab them by clicking here. If you love these ideas but are looking for items that are free to use in your classroom, please sign up for access to our free resource library by signing up for our newsletter here. I hope you have a fabulous trip to the apple orchard!