A Teacher Field Trip About World War II and The Raft

I think summer is the perfect time for teachers to scope out potential field trips for their students.  We have traveled a lot recently with my daughter's softball playing, and I've taken the opportunity to take in the local area and see what I can add to enhance my classroom.  I had an opportunity this summer to meet up with one of my favorite clip artists, Scott, from Messare Clips and Design at the Pensacola Naval Base.  I was so excited for this meet up, not only because Scott is an amazing graphic artist, but also because I will be teaching social studies again this year, and I wanted to learn more, and find ways to make my curriculum more authentic for my students.

 We went through the museum and learned a lot about the Blue Angels fighting squad. Scott, a pilot himself, was the perfect companion, and I found a lot of useful information for some nonfiction texts
I'm working on.  I also took a ton pictures to use in PowerPoints.
The naval air museum is FREE to get into. I think I may look into bringing my class there on a field trip. They have American planes from WWI and WWII as well as Japanese and German planes. 
Check out this Japanese flag!

I loved taking pictures of all of the propaganda posters.

I use these a lot when I get into my social studies units. This year I'm going to try and teach my argumentative writing unit at the same time so I can do some cross curricular writing that is meaningful.  Then when it is Dr. Seuss/Read Across America week I'll use them again.  Did you know that Seuss created posters for the United States during the war? This is a great way to participate in Read Across America activities with upper grades.

Something else I thought was pretty cool was a display about The Raft.

Apparently I group of three naval airmen were stranded in the Pacific for 34 days in only a small inflatable life raft!  The museum has the actual raft on display.  It was amazing to see how small it was, and I could not imagine living a month on it with two other people with no food, no water, and no shelter from the sun.  These men actually collected the rain water in the crevices to drink and   When the men were rescued they had their memoirs written and published in a book.  The Raft, by Robert Trumbull was first published in 1942, and is told from Harold Dixon, (one of the three airmen's) point of view.

As I was reading the information, the wheels in my head were spinning,  Think of the possibilities this saga has for the classroom!  Measure out an 8 x 4 foot raft, and imagine being able to only live in THAT space with two other people.. oh and you can't all stand up, the raft might tip!  Determine what a typical amount of water consumed is, compared to what the men would drink.  Lots of possibilities!

This book is currently in my Audible queue for the next car trip we take.  Interested in learning more about Audible?  Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
I use Audible all the time in my commute to work.  I usually listen to nonfiction or education/school related books on my way to work, and fiction or something else on the way home.  Right now you can sign up for a free month of audible and get TWO books for free!

You can also check out The Raft by clicking on the picture ( it will take you to Amazon)

I am definitely going to share it with my class.

Do you take summer time teacher field trips?  I would love to hear where you have gone and what you have seen!  Leave a comment below to help me find my next destination!

1 comment

  1. I WENT on a field trip here this year with the 5th graders from my school. We went to the Pensacola Historical Village, ate lunch at a park nearby and then went to the Naval Aviation Museum. There was a changing of command happening, which nobody warned us about. For the first time in my 17 years of teaching, we were asked to calm down and be quiet. I was so embarrassed I wanted to sit in one of the planes and hide. There are so many NEAT things for the kids to do and see and climb on. They were excited. I truly don't blame them...I was excited too. I was so happy to get into the iMax movie there so they would at least be contained in one spot. Take lots and lots of chaperons when you go...lots! Hopefully your kids will be better behaved than mine were! Lol!


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