Field Trip Planner

Many historical sites, including Civil War sites, will provide field trip guidelines and procedures to help you during the field trip planning process.  The following general guidelines will also help you plan a memorable learning experience for your students.  

Step #1: Select a Civil War site

Civil War sites range from plantation homes to cemeteries, from stops on the Underground Railroad to battlefield parks.

The American Battlefield Trust has a list of more than 500 sites across the nation that are part of our Civil War Discovery Trail.
Find a Civil War site near you »

Here are some of the American Battlefield Trust's Top Ten Battlefields and Historic Sites for field trip destinations:

  1. Gettysburg
  2. Antietam
  3. Washington DC
  4. Yorktown
  5. Lexington and Concord
  6. Fort McHenry
  7. Harper's Ferry
  8. Shiloh
  9. Independence Hall
  10. Chickamauga

Step 2: Scout the site

Take a trip to the site on your own to make certain that it is appropriate for your students and your curriculum. Many sites will waive entrance fees if you let them know that you are a teacher scouting for a field trip.

Step #3: Contact the site to make arrangements for your group

Some sites offer their own programs for school groups or will tailor their programs based on your curriculum. Have all the details of your trip on hand, such as the number of students, your length of stay, and so on.  Discuss any special needs you and your students might have.  Don't forget to ask if the site has restrooms and lunch facilities.  Ask the site if it has any special rules of its own concerning fees, number of chaperones, etc.

Step #4: Make arrangements with your school administration

Follow your school district's procedures concerning the following:

  • Health and safety;
  • Permission slips;  
  • Transportation arrangements;  
  • Hiring substitutes;  
  • Finding chaperone (education students from a local college may be available to assist);  
  • Any special policies and procedures outlined by your school district.