Thinking back on 5th grade, I remember the “big field trip” we took was a day at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio. We had to drive for over an hour – across the state line in fact. I think we may have even gotten charter buses, which was always the tell-tale sign that you were on a “big field trip” in elementary school. Now the roles have reversed, and I’m playing teacher. So, I took my 5th graders to Istanbul, Turkey for 4 days.
Last month, Becca and I took our students on some pretty unique field trips. She visited the Pyramids of Giza with her 2nd graders and acted as her students’ tour guide for the very hot Cairo day. Despite many of her students being Egyptian and growing up in Cairo, this was the first trip to the pyramids for several of them. Check out the pictures below to see more of the action!
For me, 4 straight days in Istanbul with around 14 hours of contact time with 11 year olds can be pretty exhausting. Especially when you’re parading them around historical sites in a foreign city you have never been to. But it was all totally worth it. Yes, this trip took an immense amount of planning– everything from arranging the particulars of where we were going, how we were getting there, and how much it cost, to communicating with school admin, contacting parents, and creating a specially designed curriculum. It’s a huge responsibility. Not to mention that these parents are entrusting you to take care of their child abroad. For the majority of my students, this was their first time traveling without their parents.
I can honestly say the trip was a huge success. Students were engaged in learning and were too busy taking in the city to even think about getting in trouble. On our journey we visited the Galata Tower, Galata Bridge, ITU Science Center, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Gulhane Park, the Bosphorus Strait, Topkapi Palace, Camlica Hill, Chora Church, Suleymaniye Mosque, Hagia Sophia, a Whirling Dervish show, Dolmabahce Palace, and at last the Grand Bazaar. I’m looking forward to taking next year’s 5th graders!