Special education classrooms can often benefit from taking students with special needs on field trips. At the Watson Institute, many classes use field trips as a way to develop life skills and pre-vocational support skills.
In today’s Teacher Tips newsletter, Watson shares some ideas to help prepare your students with special needs for taking a field trip.
Utilizing a visual field trip itinerary can reduce anxiety or discomfort in students with special needs who are used to following a routine schedule. Create a step-by-step itinerary of the activities you’ll be completing on the field trip.
For example, if your students are going to the grocery store to purchase items for their life skills class, write out each step of the process including: how the class will get to the location, what you’ll be doing when you arrive at that location, and how you’ll get back to school when the field trip is completed.
Include pictures of these steps alongside each itinerary point. Including your students with special needs in this process will further help them in their preparation for the trip. Students can research the location to which you are traveling and can find images to accompany each step.
You may also include suggestions for what the student can do if they become uncomfortable at any point throughout the field trip. Reviewing the itinerary with your students in the days leading up to the field trip allows them to gain more comfort with the process and ask any questions they have about the trip.
For more special education resources and tips, check out our resources page and our YouTube Channel! Watch the below video for step-by-step instructions to create your own visual field trip itinerary.