Hi friends! I am just over half-way through my 2 week track-out and am finally getting around to blogging about our field trip to the mall! We had a wonderful field trip that was fun and very educational - we had tons of parents tell us this was SO educational and that all kids should have to do this as part of their education!
So, it started out the Monday prior to our trip on Thursday with hitting our economics lessons hard. The plan was to work on activities from my economics unit for about 3 weeks during reading groups, but the snow had another plan. That meant I had to pack it all in in 3 days, but it worked!
On Monday we read A Chair for my Mother and talked about wants and needs. I had to convince the kiddos that they did not NEED an iPad to live, it took a little convincing though - haha! By Thursday on the field trip, I could tell they did know the difference between wants and needs.
On Tuesday, we read The Little Red Hen Made a Pizza and talked about producers and consumers. Then on Wednesday, we read Strega Nona Meets Her Match and talked about goods and services while also connecting back to wants/needs and goods/services. Each day kind of connected together. We did Goods Road and Services Street project where the kiddos had to create 3 business that provided goods and 3 business that provided services, make a short business plan and then draw their businesses on their map.
In years past, economics concepts like these always seemed difficult for my kiddos to grasp, but this year, they got it. While we only spent one morning for 3 days covering these concepts, they definitely seemed to grasp it easily.
Thursday morning finally rolled around and all the kiddos and their parents/chaperones met us at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, which is about 25-30 minutes from our school campus. Since we are a charter school and don't do buses, we have high parent participation on field trips. We have about 90 kids in 2nd grade and including teachers and parents, we had about 180 people on our field trip!
We started our field trip off at Kanki Japanese Steakhouse where the kiddos got a show and lunch. Many kids had been to Kanki before and many had not, so it was a fun experience to watch them enjoy the show while also trying out some new foods.
We got our field trip t-shirts from Whitney Daniels Designs. They were wonderful and easy to work with - plus the shirts were only $8!
After a yummy lunch, we hit the mall for their economics scavenger hunt. The kids had to walk around the mall looking for stores/business that provide goods and services, finding stores that sells wants or needs, as well as looking for producers and consumers in the mall.
The kids also had a "spending budget" that they had earned along with our daily behavior, and they got to decide if they would spend that money or save it for something to buy later. It took about an hour for most to finish, but some lingered longer and took about an hour and a half.
The kids had a great time and were able to apply what they had learned about economics and the parents LOVED it too. I had one parent email me that afternoon telling me that on the way home, she asked her daughter what she had learned and she said "don't steal" - haha - they were in Claire's and saw someone get arrested for stealing! Another economics & life lesson learned! Plus, many went shopping during or after their scavenger hunt, so they were helping to boost the economy - Build-A-Bear was busy with us there, for sure!
I highly recommend doing a field trip like this at your local mall. Just make sure to contact the mall management and mall security prior to going!