Visits to a farm, a factory, a hospital, a museum or other points of interest can contribute greatly to a child's education. Similarly, field trips can be useful with adults to show them a particularly well-organized poultry farm or to demonstrate contour plowing or an effective fishing technique. With children or adults, these points should be kept in mind when planning a trip:
- Make a preliminary survey. Determine whether the field trip is feasible and if it can help meet the objectives.
- Arrange logistics In advance. This includes planning for transport and food if necessary as well as arranging with authorities at the destination. Use a checklist for details, such as the one given on Page 4.
- Determine a schedule. Everyone concerned must know how, when and where in terms of departure, destination, and return.
- Prepare the audience. Before going on a field trip each member of the class or group should know why the trip is taking place and what is to be observed. Knowing what to look for will help focus attention on important points.
- Follow-up. After the trip ask yourself and members of the audience questions such as these: Did the trip serve the purpose? What was learned? Was there adequate time? Did the audience maintain interest?
A mobile unit is an especially designed vehicle equipped with a generator and a variety of projection and sound equipment. Mobile units can take the presentation to the audience. Showing a slide set, filmstrip or film in a village where electricity is not available will not only attract the villagers, but also many people from the surrounding countryside will come to see what is going on - a wonderful opportunity to communicate information relating to agriculture, health or community development. It is particularly important to remember that the materials shown must be appropriate to the audience's level.
In the city, mobile units can be equally valuable for carrying information to people about health clinics, literacy programs, clean-up campaigns or family planning. Mobile units are seldom readily available, but don't overlook the possibility of borrowing one for special purposes from a ministry of agriculture or health or even tying in with regular presentations by the ministry of information.
A good exhibit is a combination of many media in the best country-fair tradition. It may contain a bulletin board, an automated slide show, and a stack of handout pamphlets. It may combine real objects with models, photographs, and a tape recording. It may even include someone who acts as barker and salesman.
Whether grand or modest, the exhibit is always something special, something more than the everyday display. The exhibit is appropriate at festive occasions and special market days when people come from miles around.
Exhibit materials can be displayed on tables, or a variety of eye-catching exhibit panels can be made with poles and plywood or grass matting. When available at a reasonable cost, pegboard panels can be used to make a variety of arresting displays. Cut the board in the shape of a map or pleasing irregular form. The holes make attaching a variety of materials easy, including many that would be too heavy to attach to a mat or to wallboard.
Heavy string, wire, plastic clothesline or fishnet can be used for display backgrounds, Another useful display background is heavy wire screening with a two-inch mesh, sold in many places as a window covering for protection against intruders. Choose a background that is appropriate to the subject and audience.
Large pictures can be displayed by mounting them on heavy cardboard or masonite.
Slots are cut in the mounts so they can be assembled to form an interesting display. These can be disassembled for transport or storage.
Rope displays are effective and easily built. Stretch the rope from floor to ceiling as shown in the illustration. Fasten the rope to the ceiling with small hooks or nails. Pictures mounted on cardboard or three-dimensional objects can be taped or pinned to the rope. An exceptionally effective display was produced for an outdoor exhibit on cooperatives. Rope was combined with the palm-covered, bamboo-framed booth. The rope was looped aroma the bamboo frame at the top, and a bamboo pole was inserted through the loops at the bottom of the pole so that it hung about two feet above the ground. Pamphlets and photographs were attached to the rope with tape. The result - an attention-attracting display.
The following suggestions can help when planning an exhibit:
- Use of multi-media approach. Each of several different media can contribute to meeting objectives, for example: a display of photographs to attract attention; a simple demonstration to present information; a bulletin board to summarize the main points of the demonstration; leaflets to hand out for a "take-home" reminder.
- Publicize the exhibit. Use posters or space in a wall newspaper to let the intended audience know where and when the exhibit will be held.
- Involve local people. Use co-workers or students to help plan and build the exhibit. Have them present to answer questions. Ask them to make a mental note of these questions which can serve as guidelines for the design of future exhibits.
- Select a suitable location. No exhibit will communicate unless the audience can see it.
- Attract and hold the attention of the audience. An exhibit loses its educational value when the audience views it only in passing. To attract attention, use bright colors, an unusual format, large pictures or a catchy slogan. To hold attention, the exhibit must relate to the audience's needs. It should say: This is an answer to your problem, or This will save you money, or This will improve your child's health.
Keep it simple. Use one central idea organized so that it is easily understood. Use few words and place key illustrations or objects where they will be seen.
To display eggs, leather goods or clothing produced by cooperative workers.
To show the values of eating protein. Large photographs or drawings can be used to compare the growth of children suffering from malnutrition with that of children who have had an adequate diet. Display samples of protein-rich foods, and distribute leaflets that contain recipes for inexpensive, protein-rich foods.
To promote the use of fertilizers. Display samples of crops grown with and without fertilizer to point out the economic advantages of using fertilizers. Slides comparing fertilized and unfertilized plots at different stages of growth can be used as an attention-getting device.
To demonstrate methods of cooking fish. Girls from a local youth club can take turns preparing fish in various ways and can hand out small samples to exhibit visitors. To arouse children's interest in the world around them. Arrange exhibits of leaves, feathers, shells and flowers in the classroom. Involving students in an on-going activity helps them learn by doing.
Who looked at the exhibit? Were they young or old? Male or female?
Evaluation of exhibits is particularly important because they involve considerable time in planning and production. Exhibits provide a fine opportunity to involve students who can assist in the evaluation by gathering data about attendance at the exhibit.
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