Field Trips

Today the park and museums offer an even richer learning opportunity. Our goal is to provide a fun, memorable and productive experience for all students and teachers. Our field trip planning guide includes in-person and virtual offerings.

Download the Field Trip Planning Guide

In-Person Field Trips

Circle of Life: Exploring Energy through Cycles

45 mins (Grades 1-8)
Capacity: 50

Students will explore biodiversity and make connections with life cycles of plants, trees, insects, and animals and will model and demonstrate the movement of energy through food chains in an ecosystem. Students will be able to explain ways animals adapt for survival. Matter, energy and the nitrogen cycle are explored. The program content varies per grade level.

  • Program incorporates STEM principles and supports the three dimensions of Next Generation Science Standards and incorporates exploration, use of models, investigation and/or interpretation of data about scientific principles in the natural world
  • Next Generation Science Standards emphasized align with Common Core State Standards for Math and English Language Arts

First in War Field TripFirst in War Exhibit

45 mins (Grades 4-12)
Walk in the boot steps of America’s 1st Infantry Division as they fought in WWI, WWII and Vietnam. This docent-led tour will share stories about how teamwork and technology helped our soldiers accomplish their missions. The program content varies per grade level.

  • Illinois Social Science Standards related to history appropriate to each grade level. Disciplinary concepts: change, continuity and context; perspectives; and causation and argumentation

Teacher Takeover – 45 mins
Reserve a time slot for your class to take over the First in War exhibit. Your students can explore WWI, WWII and Vietnam at their own pace. We can provide self-guided materials and ideas or you can create something totally new.

Duty First Field TripSelf-Guided Duty First Exhibit

30 mins (Grades 4-12)
Use the exhibit as a source for inquiry research. In this self-guided experience, students will explore missions related to battle, counterinsurgency, peacekeeping, military assistance, and deterrence. Spark a conversation: What can the modern military do? What should it do?

Soldier story pods with male and female soldiers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds talk about the missions they went on and how they felt about their service.

The tank battle recreation allows students to see a mission from the soldier’s perspective.

The civic engagement interactive allows students to delve deeply into the decision-making process about when and where to deploy our military.

Artifacts tell a story about the tools used and the exhibit text provides context. Additional research and a debrief can be done in the classroom.

  • This field trip offers an opportunity to work on Illinois Social Science Standards related to inquiry skills
  • Illinois Social Science Standards related to history; specifically, change, continuity and context; perspectives; and causation and argumentation

Tank Tech Field TripTank Tech

45 mins (Grades 4-12)
From WWI to present day, the technology of tanks is constantly evolving. This unique program allows students to have fun while learning about the tanks. This experience includes a short tour of the Tank Park paired with games and activities to facilitate student learning about these incredible titans of technology. We will run this outdoor program as long as there is no lightning. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear!

  • Illinois Social Science Standards related to history; specifically change, continuity and context; and causation and argumentation

Capacity for all programs is 10 min and 50 max including chaperones; unless otherwise noted. We require 1 adult for every 10 students.

First Division Museum PavilionFirst Division Museum Outdoor Programs

These programs can be booked from May 1 – October 31.

Soldier Stories: Outdoor Field Trip

45 mins (Grades 4-12)
Capacity: 10-35
Choose a conflict: American Revolution, Civil War, or World War II

Examine soldiers’ experiences through the things they carried. Students get hands-on with the uniform and equipment. Hear stories, play a game, and work in small groups as they gain a more personal picture of war. Program content varies by grade level.

Virtual Programs

The Circle of Life – 45 mins
Educator will take students on a virtual ride examining interdependent relationships, the movement of energy through the ecosystems, animal adaptations, and biodiversity. Students will be shown specimens from animals at and around Cantigny Park and learn how their adaptations aid survival. The program content varies per grade level.

Mission Ready: Technology and WWI – 30-45 mins
Gear up and explore some of the terrifying technology of the first “modern war.” Students will discover how modern technology in WWI changed the way the war was fought and the experience of the soldiers in the war.

Mission Ready: Teamwork and WWII – 30-45 mins
Explore some of the US Infantry’s toughest missions: Operation Husky, D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. Your guide will share lesser-known tales of the teams and people who accomplished these missions.

First in War: Vietnam Veteran Interview – 30-45 mins
Explore Vietnam through the eyes of Sergeant Tom Brown, who served with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1966. A recipient of the Combat Infantry Badge and the Purple Heart, Tom will take you with him as he recounts his experiences during the Vietnam War, from basic training, to the day he was wounded, to his homecoming. As he speaks, he will show you what he carried with him during his service. Be prepared – Tom loves to answer questions!

Soldiers of the American Revolution – 30-45 mins
Join us for 3 interactive activities using art, artifacts, and technology to learn more about the military and soldiers during the American Revolution. The room where it happens can be your virtual classroom!

Soldiers of the Civil War – 30-45 mins
Examine a soldier’s experience through the things he carried. Students learn about the uniform and equipment of Civil War soldiers with an added focus on the reproductions of family letters of Civil War soldier, William Medill.

Virtual field trips address C3 Standards related to history; specifically, change, continuity and context; and perspectives.

Download the Field Trip Planning Guide