In Autumn, fruits and vegetables are harvested and provide a valuable opportunity for experiential learning in your preschool curriculum. Many farmers sell some of these locally at a neighborhood Farmers’ Market. A field trip to a Farmers’ Market provides children with real-world experience in where their food comes from and how it gets to the table ready for them to eat.
When you plan this field trip, try to find a relatively small, local market. If possible, arrange for the children to talk with the vendors. This will be easier if you include a lot of parents and other adults in the field trip.
Use classroom conversations to prepare children for the trip and to talk about the trip afterwards. For example, ask children about the vegetables and fruit they eat and where they might come from. Make sure the children know what to expect during the field trip.
After the trip, talk with the children about their experience. A major developmental goal in early childhood is to use language as a way of communicating personal experience well enough to share it with others.
During your visit, photograph what’s for sale. With adult support, have each child purchase one or more items.
Back in the classroom talk about and make a chart of what was purchased. Use the chart to compare the number of vegetables and fruits purchased.
Make a classroom book about the trip. Have the children help decide on the sequence for the photos. Write down their description of each photo.
Additional activities for preschoolers: Make fruit salad with the fruit you purchased. Make vegetable soup with the various vegetables you purchased.
Emphasizing the Science:
Even though field trips can be fun without helping children learn science, they offer an ideal opportunity to support children in acquiring both Science Content and Science Processes. Section 1 briefly identifies the preschool science curriculum content supported by this field trip. Section 2 lists six basic science process skills. Teachers can use this list as a planning tool to structure the three segments of the field trip (preview, trip, review) to maximize children’s opportunities to practice the process skills.
● Life Cycle of Plants
● Planting, Growing and Harvesting Plants
● Plant Parts
● Plants as a Source of Food
● Healthy Choices when Eating
Science Process Skills: Teachers can plan how to incorporate the following processes into each of the three segments of the field trip (preview, trip, review).
● Infer/Reach a Conclusion