A fieldtrip, although fun and exciting, also requires thoughtful preparation. Various things have to be taken into consideration when planning a fieldtrip, and a trip to the zoo is no exception. Prior to the trip, I will need to prepare students with a series of lessons or thematic unit that will focus on particular topics fit for the zoo, for example, that different kinds of animals and plants inhabit different kinds of environments. Among some of the preparations that need to be taken, accommodations for English learners and students with special needs need to be made. The visit to the zoo, in itself is an experience that will aid the learning of English learners. Being able to have a visual representation of the animals, plants, and habitats help English learners as well as all other students to make a connection with the things they will have already learned about in the classroom. The zoo has also taken into account that accommodations for people with special needs need to be made, for that reason, all of the animal exhibits are wheelchair friendly, and wheelchairs are also available free of charge.
Prior to the field trip, it is also important to discuss the zoo rules with students. Students need to be informed of the rules before hand, and also need to be fully aware of the consequences of breaking the zoo rules. I, as an educator, always make sure students are aware that miscunduct will not be tolerated and that we must respect others and their belongings as we would like strangers that come into our classrooms to respect us and our belongings. The rules for the Santa Ana Zoo can be found at its website at: http://santaanazoo.org/