Have you ever wanted to take your students on an interactive, state-of-the-art field trip at a theme park in Southern California? Well, now you can! Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park offers an exciting field trip program called Adventures in Education for students in first through twelth grade. Working with leading educators and subject-matter experts from around the area, Knott’s Adventures in Education provides students with hands-on-learning experiences that they normally don’t receive in the typical classroom. Knott’s makes learning fun!
Knott’s Berry Farm Adventures in Education
Each specially designed Adventures in Education program correlates with grade-appropriate California State Standards and immerse students in the learning process. Through the use of hands-on activities, live demonstrations, genuine artifacts and encounters with historical re-enactors, students participate in interactive learning that impacts the way they process information and retains it.
Students have been participating in Knott’s educational programs since it was first offered in 1955. The founder of the park, Walter Knott, started the program by letting school classes come into Ghost Town to meet some of the personalities of the Old West and teach them about life on the frontier.
Knott’s Berry Farm Field Trips
Last fall, I had the opportunity to shadow a group of students from Irvine, California on a field trip through Knott’s Berry Farm. The students were taking part in the Westward Movement experience. The Westward Movement tour includes 1 park ride and 5 or more stops at various points of interest around Knott’s including:
- Stage Coach
- Train Depot
- Calico Square
- Dr. Walker’s Residence
- Grist Mill
- Birdcage Theater
- Covered Wagon
- Bottle House
- Hangin’ Tree
- General Store
- The Schoolhouse
- Blacksmith Presentation
Our first stop on the tour was to Wagon Camp where a very knowledgeable tour guide gave us a brief overview of the Westward Movement. According to history, there were many trails leading to the Far West, but the Oregon Trail became the best known and most often followed pathway. Though it was commonly traveled, settlers still faced difficult journeys westward. Travelers along these overland trails survived by cooperating with each other in wagon trains. Between 1840 and 1848, an estimated 11,500 followed the overland trails to Oregon, and nearly 3,000 reached California.
At the Iowa School, the children were introduced to life in a one room school house. Ironically, it achieved its name because it was built by a group of Iowa farmers in 1879 who had moved west. The old school house was moved to Knott’s in 1952, complete with its original furnishings. Since then, Knott’s has added a bell and a bell tower to the school house. Inside, you’ll find remnants of a traditional classroom including a vintage blackboard, a few desks and a small library.