The Benefits of taking your 8th Grade Class to Washington, D.C.
For teachers striving to plan end-of-the-year trips, there are typically two options – either dread or delight. Organizing, planning, and executing can be even more excruciating for teachers in the middle school arena, but what if it could be simpler than that? There is an easy solution for teachers wanting to take a meaningful class trip but struggling to isolate the best destination for their time and their dollar.
An epic solution to the where-in-the-world-to-go dilemma is this – Washington! Why? Washington D.C. shines like a copper penny, ripe with history, landmarks, and promise for any age group, but especially useful for a group of middle schoolers. This destination offers the best of both worlds – beauty, education, and affordability.
One only need Google “Washington D.C.” to know the wonders that would greet students in the United States’ capital. From the White House to the cherry blossom festival, Washington offers a picturesque view of our nation and the history behind it.
Just imagine standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, surrounded by ninety middle school students and a handful of enthusiastic chaperones, and taking a photograph. There, in that beautiful place, you will have captured a memory that not only your students but also you will treasure forever.
There is no arguing the educational promise that Washington DC offers schools and school-age children. Middle school teachers think of your standards. In seventh and eighth grades, students learn all about United States history. Why not exit middle school with an exploration of the United States capital?
When planning a trip to Washington DC, teachers could very easily create a meaningful field trip for their students that will not only entertain them but also educate them. Students could visit the White House for a little modern-day history, soldier to Georgetown for a lesson in classic history, and meander to the Capitol building for a tour.
Teachers could seamlessly build their trip around historical landmarks they have taught that year or anticipate future lessons. In one, swift trip, your middle school students will wrack up invaluable experiences that will intensify their understanding of their nation’s rich history.
Another undeniable pro of a class trip to Washington is the affordability. Any educator knows that funding for field trips is limited at best and that World’s Finest Chocolate bars only sell so much, so inevitably the bill will fall to the parent. Therefore, keeping costs low is paramount.
Washington offers a wealth of inexpensive and free adventures for school trips. From the United States Botanic Garden to the Library of Congress, Washington is a walking tour waiting to happen. Schools can travel from memorial to memorial in the heart of Washington, and students will be delighted to watch their nation’s history – not to mention the fact that you will love the creative, excited side of your students that will emerge during the adventure.
Think of it this way, a field trip committee could design a field trip that requires food, housing, and transportation costs but little to no other cost. There are so many free – and inexpensive – activities to do in DC that it makes a phenomenal place to share with your students… even on a budget!
The Best of Washington, Free Addition
Here’s just a sample of three of the most memorable places to visit on your next class trip to Washington!
- Visit the White House, the Library of Congress, and the Capitol Building. These buildings are beautiful, historic and full of insight into how our nation operates. Just remember, if you want to stroll through any of these wonders, you’ll have to make appointments and/or set up free guided tours.
- Art teachers or arts integration enthusiasts might have heard of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. A unique touch to any trip to DC would be to visit the Kennedy Center for a free tour. This interactive experience is sure to be something your students will remember for a lifetime!
- Pack a lunch and visit Rock Creek Park for a picnic, a photo opportunity, and maybe even a hike. There, you’ll find both beautiful scenery and hiking trails, so you could split into two groups – with equally distributed chaperones, of course – and either relax or adventure.
So, if you’re an educator attempting to plan an end-of-the-year trip for your middle schoolers, consider the historical touch and visit the United States capital. Washington offers a host of options for any school in search of the perfect location. The city is inexpensive, educational, and gorgeous, making it a phenomenal option for you and your students.
Nonetheless, wherever you choose to go, cherish those final moments with your students. They will cement the memories you’ve already created together, and you’ll enjoy seeing your students in another light. Don’t worry too much about the logistics – you and your colleagues will figure that out!
Just read, research, and discover. That will lead you to the perfect place for your school trip! Maybe, just maybe, it’ll be Washington, D.C!