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American Writers Museum Field Trips offer students opportunities to expand their cultural understanding

The American Writers Museum offers educational field trips for students in grades K-12, where young scholars can learn about the cultural and historical significance of writing in America. Students also learn about writing styles, writing habits of authors, and new perspectives on writing—from the practical to the creative.

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Jumpstart Creativity with 31 Fun Field Trips for Writers

creative writing field trip

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I could happily spend from September through November outside hiking, exploring, and road-tripping.

In honor of my own personal wanderlust, today I’m sharing my list of places to explore.

These are things that you can do by yourself, or get together with another friend to try out. Most would even work as a group activity for a writers group. The key here is to get out and stretch your legs and your creative muscles.

31 Fun Field Trips for Writers

  • Visit your local history museum. Every county and most towns have them. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.
  • Take a quick trip to a local landmark.  Chances are there are some that you’ve never visited, no matter how long you’ve lived where you are now.
  • Go to your local farmer’s market.  Not only will you pick up some wonderful—local—edibles, you’ll be inspired by those attending and those displaying their wares.
  • Try a different cuisine. Pick one you haven’t had before, if possible. Research it before you go and you’ll know what to order.
  • Take a walking tour. Greenville, SC is the large town nearby and there are all kinds of self-guided walking tours we can take.
  • Spend a few hours geocaching. Here’s a great article on  Geocaching 101 , if you’re not familiar with this hobby.
  • Do a search for hidden menus at Starbucks, then try something new. There are all kinds of cool drinks you can order, if you just know how. For example, did you know there’s a concoction that’s reputed to resemble Butterbeer from the Harry Potter universe?
  • Take a trip on a local river or lake. Go kayaking, canoeing, or even paddle boarding.
  • Get together a group and go on a bookstore crawl. The point is to visit all the bookstores in a geographic area. It’s even more fun if you post pics to social media and see how many books you can find from authors you know and love.
  • Plan an old-fashioned murder mystery evening.  You can find suggestions online or you can buy a box that has everything need.
  • Go leaf-peeping.  Fall is definitely upon us and that means the trees are turning in most areas of the country. Take a drive and be inspired by God’s creativity!
  • Visit a local art gallery.  Yes, I’m a writer. But I’ve found that seeing how others express their creativity inspires me.
  • Get tickets to a play at your local community theater or even a school production.  You’ll be inspired by the actors, the costumes, the story, and the overall atmosphere.
  • Go old school and show some community spirit by watching a local football game.  Yes, high school was tough in some ways. But most of us remember fall football. It might have been as a cheerleader, a member of the marching band (me), or just a fan. This is a great way to reconnect with your roots.
  • Take a cooking class.  Again, it’s the creative aspect that drives this suggestion. But you also might find a new hobby you can share with your spouse.
  • Spend the afternoon people watching at the local mall. Take a pen and paper and write down snippets of conversations. If you write fiction, you may find a place to use it in your WIP. If you write nonfiction, the things you overhear may give you article/book ideas.
  • Visit a corn maze or a haunted house.  Personally, I’m not a fan of haunted houses, but a lot of my friends are. A corn maze is much more my speed.
  • Offer to read at your local retirement center/nursing home. It doesn’t have to be your book that you’re reading.
  • Visit your local zoo.
  • Take another author’s book to your local bookstore and recommend it to the manager/workers.  It feels good to do something nice for someone else, and it helps the management find books they might have missed.
  • Visit some nearby historical landmarks.  Greenville is rife with old textile mills, bridges and general historic sites. I love crawling around old foundations and taking picture of the stonework and gears that are always left behind.
  • Memorize a poem. Go to your local library or book store and find a book of poetry. It can be something funny, or touching, or anything in between. But the process will stimulate your mind and stretch your mental muscles.
  • Explore a local festival.  This time of year you’ll find everything from state fairs to barbeque cook-offs to pop up arts and crafts shows.
  • Take a bicycle ride. If you don’t own a bike, rent one. Chances are there’s someplace nearby where you can ride.
  • Listen to some live music.  It might be an evening at the symphony, or a free band that plays in a park downtown.
  • Stroll through a local flee market or antique mall
  • Go on a hike.  Find a local park and take a walk.
  • Take a class.  Look for something non-writing related.
  • Spend an afternoon coloring.  Find a book or download a free page from the Internet, pull out your colored pencils and pretend you’re a kid. It’s not a hobby for everyone—which could be said about a lot of these suggestions, but I’ve found if I mention coloring it’s polarizing. People either love it or hate it. I’m one of those who’ve discovered it doesn’t relax me. But if it does help you unwind, go for it. If you haven’t tried it, it’s past time to give this new fad a try.
  • Shop for a new pen and stationary. Go to a place where you can try out different types of pens and find one you really like.
  • Take only a pen and notebook and find a park.  Spend an hour or two writing longhand. Describe your setting, do free-writing, or brainstorm your next project.

Truthfully, this list could go on and on. But I’ll stop talking now and let you have a chance to share your best ideas.

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I love baking during the fall. There’s just something so cfortin about being in a warm kitchen as the weather gets colder. I will definitely have to try out some of your suggestions. God Bless, Lindsi

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Field Trips

Collaboration • publication, creative writing.


Imagination • 

Students become, we offer two field trips.

for classes of first through sixth-grade authors. Teachers bring their class to one of our two bureaux on a Tuesday or Thursday morning (depending on student age group and school proximity) for some lively, imaginative, collaborative story writing and in-house publication.

Guided by our skilled Program Manager along with help from our trained volunteer editors, students discover that writing can be a fun, non-competitive outlet for fearlessly expressing ideas. Students learn about creative collaboration, self-editing, the bookmaking process, and the core elements of successful storytelling–like character, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. Each student leaves their field trip as a published author, with a bound and illustrated book of their story.

Publishing Co.

Grades 1*-3  

10:00  a.m. -12:00  p.m.  , offered at greenwood and yesler terrace.

Mr. Geoduck is a "very famous" publisher in a terrible fix. He hasn't had a brand new story on his desk in weeks, and he is beginning to think that there aren't any left in Seattle. The way he sees it, his only option is to move Geoduck Publishing to Antarctica where he can enlist penguins to be writers. Lucky for him, your class has arrived, full of creativity, imagination, and ready to show Mr. Geoduck that there are still good stories in Seattle.

Our Program Manager guides the group collaboration to build an all-original, imaginative tale. One element at a time, the plot works its way toward a "cliffhanger." Then, students break off with volunteer editors to individually craft their unique endings.

Mr. Geoduck, having read all the submissions, gives supportive feedback to each newly published author while his assistant Harriet presents them with a bound and illustrated copy of their story. Finally, Mr. Geoduck announces that the authors have saved the day: Geoduck Publishing will stay in Seattle!

*First-grade classes are scheduled during the second half of the​ school year. We find this allows for first graders to feel confident during the independent writing part of this field trip.

Both our Field Trips produce chapbooks like this one that student authors get to take home with them!

Featured here (up to its cliffhanger) is  "judy the mountain's big dream"  from the mr. geoduck field trip, written entirely by the students of ms. ott's 3rd-grade class from gatewood elementary, with illustrations by fearless ideas' resident illustrator, david lasky., (use the navigation arrow on the right to turn the page, click a page to enlarge it).

Judy the Mountains' Big Dream

from the Mr. Geoduck Publishing Co. Field Trip, Illustration by David Lasky.

Judy the Mountains' Big Dream

from the Mr. Geoduck Publishing Co. Field Trip

Judy the Mountain's . Big dream

From the Mr. Geoduck Publishing Co. Field Trip

“I really hope that other people can go and be lucky enough to have as much fun as we did.”



Grades 4-6  

Writer's room.

The Writer's Room is a creative Brave Space, where off-the-wall ideas work together to build original adventures in storytelling. Forget about sitting alone, staring at a blank page as inspiration fizzles away. Here, writer's block gets pulverized by collective brainstorming, spitballing and, and the power tools of teamwork.

After a short discussion led by our program manager about what makes a thrilling, unique story, students work in small groups to create an original story for younger readers like themselves. Each group works with a volunteer or two who guides them through the writing process and types up their original adventures. All students leave with a printed, illustrated, and bound book of their very own. Authors experience the entire writing process to completion, develop creative collaboration skills, and release the wild imagination within.


Teachers must fill out and submit a Field Trip Interest Form —it only takes a minute. With the goal of clear and timely communication, we ask that each teacher fill out and submit their own form rather than assign this task to a volunteer or other classroom teacher. Our Field Trips program is popular, and we usually get more applications than we can fit in the calendar. If your class does not receive a date, you'll automatically be put on a waitlist and contacted if a spot opens up.


We recommend you use our P re-Field Trip Guides to help your class prepare for their upcoming visit to Fearless Ideas. By reviewing the included activities with students, it allows for a much richer experience; students arrive familiarized with some of the terminology, structure, and behaviors that are most conducive to writing collaboratively. Download the guide for your field trip below!

Please   email   our program manager Bryan Wilson with any questions or concerns.


We are hard at work developing new ways to support and partner with teachers and their classrooms.  Please contact us if you are an educator who would like to collaborate with Fearless Ideas on a creative project with your classroom. Email [email protected]

To learn about ways we're responding and adapting during hte COVID-19 Pandemic, click HERE

News and Events

A fantastic field trip.

A laser moves toward a golden flower surrounded by other flowers

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We recently met amazing second grade authors from Savoy Elementary School in their school library for an onsite field trip! The students wrote an original story together from scratch, pairing writing fundamentals with their creativity and teamwork skills.

Getting Started

One of our 826DC staff members, Dominique, taught the class about some of the elements of a clear, creative, and concrete story. Along with 826DC interns Shyann and KT, she then split the class into three groups to get started on their own story.

Two of the groups created characters for the story: Mr. Jones, a mean football player from Mexico, and Rex Galaxy, a superhero who shoots lasers and lives in an underwater beach house!

The third group created the story’s setting. They decided that the story would be set in Asia in a princess garden made by the one and only Ella Fitzgerald. The garden had a golden flower in it. If someone made a wish to that flower, it would become bright and their wish would come true! 

All Together Now

The students then returned from their groups, and it was time to bring their setting and their characters together. Using the “Story Mountain” story structure, they created something that was pretty magical.

Story mountain poster with 826DC characters. The steps are introduction, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Conclusion

The students decided that Rex Galaxy and Mr. Jones were playing in the garden and accidentally made a big mess, destroying the flower! Luckily, the pair ultimately figured out how to fix the magical flower as a team.

More Where That Came From

“Rex Galaxy and the Golden Flower” is just one of the field trip books that we work on each year, and this wonderful, imaginative class is one of many that we have the pleasure of serving.

If you would like to help us publish more stories like this one, from young authors just like these students, you can always donate here.

This blog post was written by 826DC intern KT Turner.

All “Rex Galaxy and the Golden Flower” images were created by Kevin Downs. 



A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

All Aboard! Virtual Field Trips and Writing Experiences

creative writing field trip

Field trips are often the highlight of the school year. I fondly remember a week-long trip I took as a 6th grader to Nature’s Classroom and trips to New York City as an 8th grader and a high school student. As a kindergarten teacher, my classes always loved our walking field trip to the local firehouse. As a third grade teacher, my former students have talked about our Bronx Zoo field trip as one of their favorite parts of the school year. There is something so special about being in a new environment, often out in nature, with your teacher and classmates. Memories are made.

At the time of this writing, we are experiencing social distancing due to the spread of Covid-19. We aren’t even in classrooms together- teaching is being done remotely as we try to connect with students across miles and through challenging, difficult circumstances. Field trips are, sadly, out of the question.

In New York, our spring break would have been from April 9-April 17. Spring break was canceled as Governor Cuomo asked the schools to continue delivering instruction during this time. My third grade colleagues and I wanted to create something fun and different for our students during this time period. We decided to present them with a new virtual field trip each day.

In this time of remote learning, I’ve found that educators have been so generous with sharing their ideas and inspiration has been all around. My sister-in-law, Melissa Sokolowski, shared the idea of virtual field trips with me which led to the spark to create a week-long experience for the third graders in my district. Melissa also teaches third grade in a neighboring district and shared how her team was able to create virtual field trips to Disney World. Following her example, we created virtual field trips to the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Center, and Animal Kingdom. We then branched out to some other locations, creating trips to Paris, Monterey Bay Aquarium and Washington D.C.

Since we created the virtual field trips, more inspiration has come and this post is expanding the idea of virtual field trips by adding writing experiences as a possible extension. My team and I designed the trips to be a fun and educational activity in an academically lighter week due to what would have been spring break. The menu of writing activities came after I did this work with my students, as a full disclaimer. I haven’t tried the menus with my third graders yet since we took the virtual trips before this idea came to be.

This work very much stands on the shoulders of what Clare Landrigan shared about virtual classroom libraries and Pernille Ripp’s work on Choose Your Own Adventures with remote learning. Clare’s work led me to think about how Google Docs can be a menu that helps students go off to different places. The way she set up her charts, with colored backgrounds and hyperlinks to other places directly inspired how I designed these writing experience menus. Pernille’s idea of allowing students to choose their own learning adventure really appealed to me. The way she used Google Docs for this purpose helped me put the pieces together to allow students to choose their virtual field trip and then choose how they will write about their experience.

So…here’s the idea! Feel free to tweak, change, add, subtract or in other ways make it your own. Any Google Doc you wish to change, you would need to go to File and then Make a copy. Then you can make any edits you like.

Students can decide which virtual field trip they want to take from the menu of choices. After exploring the trip, they click on the menu of writing options and choose one or more, depending on what you as the teacher ask them to do.

creative writing field trip

I created a video to show how the trips work with the writing menus.

I think this structure and style of Google Docs that take you to different places can work with so many other writing related lessons. In Clare Landrigan’s example, you can create mentor text baskets that students could click on for different craft moves or genres of writing. Clare also recently wrote about using a board for students to get feedback on their writing in her post Every Writer Needs a Reader- How to Design Virtual Response Spaces for Writers .

I’m envisioning the board as a way to organize the craft lesson’s I’ve taught and link to writing samples. My students have been participating in the Classroom SOLSC this month and I’ve been awarding them badges for craft moves like incorporating dialogue and show, don’t tel l. I envision a board where I have the craft moves in the chart and can link to student writing that illustrates the craft move (with student and parent permission, of course). Teacher samples could also be curated in this way so students can see an example if they forget how to try out a certain craft move. I’ve also been sharing videos with students that teach the craft moves and I can see this type of chart being used as a teaching tool- perhaps each craft move is linked to a video lesson, a teacher mentor text and a student mentor text. Now that this structure is something I have tried out, I am excited for all the possible ways I can use it as a means of giving my students options and choices, to “choose their own learning adventure” as Pernille Ripp advocates.

While I would never try to paint the current situation as one that has a silver lining, I will say that remote teaching and learning has pushed me to learn new tools, technology and ways to create experiences for students. Knowing how to create menus like these will help when I am back in real time with students. I can see this being very helpful for small group instruction and for allowing student opportunities to find the lesson they need when they need it, as Melanie Meehan described in her post on creating videos for students .

If your students try the field trips and the writing menus, please let me know how it goes! If you improve upon this, please also share. I know I am creating and revising all the time now- ideas that seemed right a week ago, I now tweak, add, enhance, and make better as I see ways to do so. I’ve been learning so much and I am grateful for all the educators who are sharing and finding better ways everyday to teach students from afar.

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Published by Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski

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20 thoughts on “ All Aboard! Virtual Field Trips and Writing Experiences ”

You are so awesome! Thank you for sharing this fabulous freebie! We are doing paper packets, but we want to have some online stuff, too. I tried to get my students on Google Classroom, but only a small handful have visited. I am hoping a virtual field trip will lure them to try it out. Next school year, we as a school have decided to get our students on Google Classroom from the beginning so if something like this happens again, they will know how to use it!!!

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I am really glad this will be helpful to your students! My students really enjoyed the field trips. It was funny how kids had different favorites. Some loved Paris, others chose Disney and still others loved the zoo. Washington DC had some fans too! We are all learning so many lessons right now. I am sure getting your student into Google Classroom early on will be helpful!

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I can’t tell you how excited I am about this teaching/learning opportunity. You have truly lightened my load and my spirits. I can’t wait to share this with my scholars and my colleagues. If you wouldn’t mind, would you consider sharing the process you used to construct your virtual field trips. I would like to create some different points of interest. But, I’m not yet savvy enough to figure out the neat tricks that you incorporated. Thank you so much for you creativity and you unselfishness. You truly are a blessing.

Hi Iris! Thanks for your kind words. I am so glad this can help you and your students. The virtual field trips came together in pieces. My sister-in-law told me that on Youtube there are rides that make you feel like you are right there for Disney World. She said her class had taken a virtual field trip to Disney. That made me think of the Disney rides. I searched on Youtube for virtual rides and found a bunch. I made a Google Doc for The Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Animal Kingdom. I used a table and then typed the name of the ride. Then I hyperlinked the name of the ride to the video. After I did all that, I used the platform Buncee to make a sign about the trip and hyperlinked it to the Google Doc page that had all the rides. For the other trips, I just made a Buncee and linked the different places they could go within that one page. If you need more information, feel free to email me at mrs.sokolowski(AT)gmail.com. Good luck!

Thank you so much for sharing this lovely resource! I love curating quality resources to support my teachers.

So glad it can be helpful for your teachers and their students!

This is awesome! Thank you so much!

Thank you, Rita!

Kathleen -you are a wealth of good ideas and even more importantly, you explain just how to enact and resource those ideas! Thank you for sharing this rich resource. I have been contemplating virtual field trips, but did not yet have a good grasp of how to implement it. Now I do. Also, loved your very thorough video on craft Move – writing a good lead.

Thank you so much Dawn!! I appreciate that feedback so much.

What a great idea!

This is an amazing resource. The kids will LOVE these trips! THANK YOU for sharing.

My pleasure!!!!

SO FANTASTIC!!! You just shared so much with us, I feel like I found the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. My motto during this has been “Be the Rainbow!” You are my rainbow right now. THANK YOU!

What a beautiful comment to read! I am thrilled you like the ideas and hope your students enjoy the trips!!!

This is amazing! I’m certainly going to see how I can utilize it in my own remote learning classes. Thank you!

So glad Tracey! Please let me know how they like it!

I love you so much! I have been including some of these virtual trips as a part of our “can do” choices, but this is next level and I cannot wait to try it out! Thanks for generously sharing! PS I am so sorry your break was canceled.

Erika this makes my day! I am so glad you think these trips could work for you! Please let me know how it goes!

Wow! This is amazing. I love the virtual field trip board and all of the other ways to use a “board”. This is something I will use now, and definitely continue to use into the future. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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The school trip.

Look at the information about a school trip and do the exercises to improve your writing skills.


Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the texts and do the other exercises.


Emails about school trip

School trip

Join us on a school trip to Cardiff on Saturday 13th May .

We will spend the morning in the city centre . For lunch we’ll have a picnic in the park . In the afternoon we will visit the Science and Technology Museum .

Meet in the school car park at 8:00 am . Please arrive on time. We will return to the school at 5:30 pm .


Dear Students,

We hope you can come on our school trip next weekend . Unfortunately, the Science and Technology Museum is closed for building work on Saturday, but we have got tickets for St Fagans National History Museum instead. The good news is that entry is free so the trip will now cost £10 each.

Arrival and departure times are the same.

Mr Stuart Noble

Head Teacher

Top tips for writing

When you need to write notes from a text, underline the important information first. Then make short, clear notes.

Check your understanding: gap fill

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Writing a Brighter Future, One Story at a Time

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826michigan Field Trips

Take an action-packed field trip to an 826michigan writing center and build your students’ enthusiasm for writing!

We offer a variety of energy-filled field trip options, focused on both independent and collaborative writing. Students get to experience the power of sharing ideas and developing those ideas into a full-length story! 

creative writing field trip

What happens on an 826michigan field trip? 

Offered most Wednesday and Friday mornings during the school year, these field trips are provided at no cost to schools or teachers. Students write in large groups, small groups, and individually, and are supported by a team of trained 826michigan volunteers. You can choose from a variety of fun, interactive programs to suit the needs and interests of your students. Examples include:

creative writing field trip

PJ Day – 1st Grade Field Trip

The students arrive (in their pajamas, if possible) and learn that our grumpy editor, Dr. Blotch, needs help falling asleep. Students work collectively with a storyteller and a typist to draft a bedtime story for Dr. Blotch, building imaginative characters, setting, and conflict into the tale. At the end of the field trip, the story is read to Dr. Blotch, who finds it remarkable in every way.

Length of time: 70 minutes (with a stretch break!)

Storytelling & Bookmaking – 2nd Grade Field Trip

Students come into our writing lab and are greeted by a very relieved 826michigan facilitator: Dr. Blotch, our grumpy editor-in-chief, has forced all of 826michigan staff to become master knitters, so we’re behind on our story deadlines! Though we’re hoping our field trip students might distract Dr. Blotch, she soon interrupts to remind the class that we owe her a story in ONE HOUR! Oh dear! Can the students help the team write a fantastic story, one that will please the un-please-able Dr. Blotch?!

creative writing field trip

New Monuments – 3rd or 4th Grade Field Trip

Across the country, we’re seeing a shift in our national understanding of who deserves to be honored with a monument. In this field trip, students will explore what a monument is and can be, dreaming up new possibilities for local ways to honor heroes and specialties, from the playful (a Coney Dog Monument in Detroit) to the serious (an Elijah McCoy Monument in Ypsilanti). We’ll envision these new possibilities, and then write about why we think these monuments should be built.

Length of time: 90 minutes (with a break)

Choose Your Own Adventure – 4th or 5th Grade Field Trip

Students begin writing an adventure story together in the second-person point of view, but when the protagonist must make a decision, the students split in half to continue the story down two separate paths. Students continue working on the story with their new groups, supported by 826michigan volunteers. Each group then splits again at the next crossroads. Each of the four groups write two final choices for the protagonist. As a follow-up activity in your classroom, students can compose their own original endings to the story!

creative writing field trip

Registration – How can my classroom participate? 

It’s easy! Use the sign up form below to express interest and we’ll be in touch!

Priority in scheduling will be given to schools within Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit in which more than 50 percent of the student population qualifies for free and reduced lunch. If your school is outside of these three districts and we have space, please complete the form and we’ll follow up!

Teacher Interest

Juniper Young Writers

  • Writing Labs
  • Craft Sessions
  • Participant Readings
  • Writer’s Life Talks
  • Write-alongs & Write-ins

Field Trips

Field Trips offer Juniper participants the opportunity to explore beyond the UMass Amherst campus and creatively engage with the surrounding nature and literary culture of Western Mass. Field trips are guided by Juniper Creative Writing Instructors, and encourage participants to write alongside and pull inspiration from the many engaging sites Amherst and surrounding towns have to offer. This year, participants in the Juniper Institute for Young Writers will take one Craft Session elective on Wednesday morning and then embark on a field trip to a Western Massachusetts destination with their Craft Session Creative Writing Instructor.

Craft Session Field Trips are offered during the Juniper Institute for Young Writers .


  1. Creative Writing class takes field trip to elementary schools

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  2. Field Trip Writing Prompts

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  3. My Field Trip Reflection Writing Sheet

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  4. Field Trip Writing Prompts by The Mitten State Teacher

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  5. Field Trip Writing

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  6. great field trip writing packet

    creative writing field trip


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  13. 826michigan Field Trips

    Take an action-packed field trip to an 826michigan writing center and build your students' enthusiasm for writing!

  14. Field Trips : Juniper Young Writers

    Field trips are guided by Juniper Creative Writing Instructors, and encourage participants to write alongside and pull inspiration from the many engaging sites