There are several activities that can be done to debrief students after the fieldtrip. One of them would be to hold a class discussion in which students can share several things such as what they enjoyed about the trip, what they disliked, did they see something that surprised them, were they able to see the animal or plant they researched, and so on.
A more productive activity to do would be to have students complete a graphic organizer. For example, students could complete a three map to organize the habitats they came across and the animals and plants that inhabited each type of environmental habitat.
Students could also write in their science journal in response to some of the following prompts:
- What did I find out about the different environments and the animals and plants that inhabit them?
- What new things did I learn?
- What were some of the animals or plants we have learned about that I was able to see at the zoo?
- How do the things I saw today relate to what I have learned in the classroom?
For the younger students, instead of writing, I can ask them to draw pictures in response to the prompts.
One last thing I can do is ask students to write a letter in which they explain what they learned from their experience. The letter will be addressed to themselves and I will mail it out to them a month later. This will allow them to reflect back and assess their own learning.