Field trips, as educational tools to connect students to classroom concepts, are widely used in IB education. Experiential learning at formal and informal field trip venues increases student interest, knowledge, and motivation. The teacher’s role in preplanning, implementation, and reflection also dictates the impact that the field trip will have on students. This article is going to show how BIS teachers develop and orchestrate a successful field trip.
During last week, our students had the chance to visit Wuxi Orient Gallery for a Chinese Painting Exhibition, which is a part of 2021 Taihu Art Festival.
The field trips were planned for the purposes of, including
- providing firsthand experience in enjoying Chinese traditional arts.
- strengthening observation and perception skills,
- stimulating students’ interest and motivation in Arts,
- promoting social development.
Based on the above purposes, several activities were deliberately designed and organized during the trips.
Picture Bingo is an activity in which students had a lot of fun while also unwittingly strengthened their observation skills in finding specific details of the art works displayed in the gallery. The teachers showed the students a cropped part of an artwork and students would have to find the work and carefully peruse the work so they could correctly match the cropped image to the original artwork for a house point.
From observing the artworks in the gallery, students went in pairs and tried to answer questions using their observational skills, social skills, and their previous knowledge learned in Art class to correctly answer trivia questions. This activity also aimed to inspire interest and introduce many of our foreign students to the wonders of Chinese Traditional Art and Culture.
Chinese Traditional Painting Master Class
The creativity and artistic concept of traditional Chinese painting is extremely attractive to our students. During the trip, we were honored to have Mr. Zhou Shengrong, member of Chinese Artists Association, chairman of Wuxi Artists Association and Mr. Bao Jinrong, Deputy Secretary General of Wuxi Artists Association to be present. Under the guidance of them, the students had the opportunity to try the Chinese traditional painting.
Interview with the Curator
A group of students showed more interest in art studies and curation. It was the great chance for them to get the first-hand information from the curator, Ms. Lu, through an interview. Maybe we can look forward to a splendid art exhibition here on campus curated by our students!
Cultural Exchange with Peer Students
The field trip was also meant to develop students’ social skills. With the communication with their peer students from Houzhai Middle School, the students extended their understanding of different kinds of culture in both domestic and global context.
Field trips take students to locations that are unique and cannot be duplicated in the classroom, where students interact with the concepts and activities often not possible in the classroom. A learned concept will integrate with all previous knowledge and accommodate new knowledge faster and with greater clarity. That’s what field trips are all about.