Field Trip Lessons


For Field Trips to 826LA in Echo Park, click here.
For Field Trips to 826LA in Mar Vista, click here.

Storytelling and Bookmaking
Recommended for grades 1–4

In our most popular Field Trip, students must bring forth their best writing for Professor Barnacle, our unseen, time-traveling publisher who is figuratively (and sometimes literally) stuck in the past. Students collaborate with trained volunteers and each other to produce a story with all-new characters, setting, and plot, all the way up to a cliffhanger—at which point each student finishes the story with their own original ending. Should everyone write up to their potential, and convince Professor Barnacle once and for all that new stories are just as powerful as tales of old, the Professor will approve their stories for publication, and each student will take home their own bound and illustrated book.

Well-Wishing and Poetry Writing (Mar Vista)
Recommended for grades 3–5

Students are called on once again by Professor Barnacle to write, this time to cheer up the Professor’s beloved but melancholy pet with the power of poetry. With our volunteers, students work together in large and small groups to explore different poetic techniques like alliteration and personification and types of poetry such as list poems and odes. Finally, students will write and perform their very own poem for Professor Barnacle and their pet. At the end of the field trip, each student will leave as a published poet, taking home their own poetry collection.

Poetry & The Time Travel Machine (Echo Park)
Recommended for grades 3–5

Students will travel through space and time through poetry. Professor Barnacle’s time travel machine is broken, and they are inconsolable. Students will learn poetic techniques like personification and sensory details in order to write poetry that has the power to send Professor Barnacle to past and future eras. Students will work in small groups with our volunteers to write two collaborative poems focusing on the past and the future and one individual poem centered around the here and the now. At the end of the Field Trip, each student will leave as published poets, taking home their own poetry collection.

Choose Your Own Adventure
Recommended for grades 5–8

The Choose Your Own Adventure Field Trip is an action-packed thriller. The students begin writing a story as a group, but stop when the second-person protagonist has a decision to make. At that point, the class splits into two to write each branch of the story. As more decisions present themselves and storylines end, the groups re-split and re-merge. Every student ends the Field Trip by individually finishing the last four unresolved story branches, and they all take home a copy of the adventure.

Small-Group Storytelling
Recommended for grades 6–8, including special education and ELL classes

In this Field Trip, students visit the 826LA writing lab as guest authors for the day, tasked with writing books for children. Students work in small groups to create a story from start to finish: constructing characters, finding a setting, and planning a plot suitable for young students. Every student will leave with a copy of their own book, published and bound, to share with the young children in their lives.

Recommended for grades 9–12

In this Field Trip, designed with the help of a professional screenwriter, students work in small groups on a script written for stage or screen while learning to craft scenes and write engaging dialogue. Students will leave with a bound script, published and ready to send right off to Hollywood.

Recommended for grades 9–11

It’s never too early to start your memoir! During this Field Trip, students explore storytelling through a nonfiction lens. They reflect on their lives and unpack important moments, events, and memories that have shaped their identities. With the help of volunteers and focused small group work, students walk away from this Field Trip with a collective class memoir, a map of their memories, and the beginnings of their own personal narratives. This Field Trip can be used as a tool for students as they prepare to write their personal narratives for college application essays, whether that be this year, next year, or several years into the future.

College Personal Statements
Recommended for grades 11–12

Crafting personal statements for college applications is one of the most powerful examples of writing as a tool for empowerment and equal access. Colleges are looking for personal and honest stories, and in personal statement Field Trips, 826LA volunteers spend time with students to learn their stories and then shape their experiences into essays that reveal character and determination. We emphasize reflective and thoughtful writing while making sure students are answering all the questions in the prompts for University of California schools, private colleges, and California State EOP short answer questions.


For Field Trips to 826LA in Echo Park, click here.
For Field Trips to 826LA in Mar Vista, click here.