Grocery Store Field Trip
Learn While You Shop
One of the most popular field trip ideas is to a grocery store mainly due to the variety of educational lessons that can be built into the trip. Nutrition, budgeting, math, occupations, recycling, measurement, food production, counting money, etc. There a lot of curriculum ideas to incorporate into your trip plus there is usually a treat involved at the end of the trip!
Field trips are meant to reinforce classroom studies, giving the students a real world experience. Every student can relate to a grocery store which will allow them to feel like they are a part of the subject matter. It will help them see that the world is not divided up into different subject, it all works together. Students will also see all ages and nationalities of people working together to create a community.
Some grocery stores offer an organized tour; check with your local store to see if they do. If not, check out some of the ideas below and create your own field trip. Depending on the age of your students, get them involved in the planning process. Organization is a very good skill to teach.
Planning Your Adventure
Planning is essential for any adventure you organize. Included here are some suggestions to assist you with your planning.
Before the Trip
• A grocery store offers much more to see and do than you can do in one day or afternoon. Consider what you are studying in the classroom and what the field trip can help enhance.
• Introduce the field trip to your students well in advance of the outing. You might check out library books on the subject matter or plan lessons that lead up to your field trip.
• Be sure to check the days and hours of operation of the store you are visiting. Be aware of holidays when the location may be closed.
• If you are travelling with a group, be sure to schedule a tour well in advance.
• If you are travelling with a group, be sure to collect permission slips from all attending.
• Does your trip involve meal time? If so, plan the options well in advance.
o Will you all bring a sack lunch? If so, where will you eat it? Sack lunches are most convenient for groups.
o If not a sack lunch, where will you eat? Some facilities offer a cafÃ©. If you are with a group, how will you deal with money for the meal? Be aware of special dietary needs for any group members.
• Discuss etiquette to follow during the field trip.
Field Trip Etiquette
Field trips are meant to be fun, but it is not a playground. The grocery store employees willingly give of their time to educate you; respect their time. Teachers, parents and children all need to be aware of their behavior. Teachers and parents should be role models and children should follow their lead. Here are some ‘rules’ to follow for a successful field trip:
1. Teachers, parents and/or chaperones need to follow the rules. If the sign says, “Don’t Touch” – Don’t Touch! How you behave sets the scene for all the children.
2. Prepare your students for what is expected of them regarding behavior. Discuss the importance of respecting others.
3. If you are travelling in a group, you should yield right of way for the public. Do not be pushy or bully those around you.
4. Leave no trace, as the Boy Scouts say. Clean up any mess you cause even if you don’t cause it. By helping to keep facilities clean, you show respect for the facility itself and others around you.
5. If you have planned a guided tour, arrive early. Be respectful of the tour guide’s time.
6. Listen quietly to the tour guide. Raise your hand if you have a question.
7. No eating or chewing gum except in designated areas and times.
Helpful Gadgets for your Field Trip
1. How is the store divided? What are the different sections? Why is the store divided? Have a treasure hunt.
a. Create a list of items. Pick items that are in different parts of the store.
b. Give each student a short list of items to find. Fold older students, choose items that are difficult to find.
c. Give them a time period and a designated spot to all meet.
d. Determine that the students have brought you the correct items.
e. Determine the winner! A special treat would be a great prize.
2. Label reading. Create charts for ingredients, calories, amount of sugar, etc.
3. Sugar; what are all the names for sugar? Discuss the different forms of sugar. Combine this lesson with label reading. What foods have the most sugar? What foods have sugar that surprise you?
4. Nutrition; the food pyramid. Have the students cut our pictures of magazines of their favorite meal. Next, have them compare their meal to the food pyramid. Have the students shop for a healthy meal using the food pyramid as a guide.
5. Store departments and nutrition.
a. Bottled water – the importance of drinking plenty of water every day to keep hydrated.
b. Fruits and veggies – in every color under the sun. How many colors can you find? What do different colors of fruits and veggies do for us nutritionally?
c. Organic – food grown without the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides.
d. Dairy – consume at least 3 servings of dairy each day to give our bodies strong bones and teeth.
e. Bakery – grains are an important part of your diet. Try to eat whole grains and limit baked products high in sugar.
f. Seafood and Meat – protein is essential to help build muscle. Learn about protein provides our bodies and eat 2-3 servings per day.
g. Deli – see if you can pick out a healthy lunch that fills the blocks of the food pyramid.
6. Pricing, make a chart to determine incremental pricing. For example if a pound of cookies costs $4.59; what does a half pound cost? Check out the bulk section. Have your student practice weighing items and reading the scale. Compute or estimate the total cost of what has been weighed. You can also compare bulk prices to packaged prices of the same product.
7. Comparison shopping. What is the difference in price between different brands of the same product? If you have more than one grocery store near you, you can chart price comparisons on different products.
8. Measurements – Find recipes that call for different units of measurement. For example ounces, cups, grams, etc. Have the students determine how much of each product they need to purchase for the recipe ingredients.
9. Shopping on a budget – Make a grocery list and determine the budget. Have students see how many items they can purchase on their budget.
10. Coupons! Great percentage practice for your students. Discuss how percents, fractions and decimals relate. Bring calculators and have the students compute the savings of items that you have coupons for.
11. Economics. What does it take to run a grocery store? Discuss how products are purchased at a wholesale price, then sold at retail. Discuss net profits.
12. Where does the food come from? Select some food items and have the students determine where those products came from – a farm, an orchard, the ocean, etc. How are they packaged? Why?
13. Food safety, reading expiration dates. What do these dates mean? Who determines the dates?
14. Shapes – food and packaging comes in all shapes and sizes. Give the students a list of shapes and send them on a scavenger hunt to find products for each shape.
15. Money handling – Make a list of scenarios for the items in your grocery cart.
a. Have students add up several items in their cart. What is the total?
b. If they have a $20 dollar bill, how much change will they back?
c. Have your child count out the change.
d. If you don’t have enough money, how much more will you need?
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