Bennett School Eighth Grade Teaching Safari


I knew the field trip was going to go well when the eighth grade girls on the Chicago Classic Coach bus broke into Justin Bieber’s Baby – and sung well! They had a smile in their voices. They were in the final days of there middle school careers and looking forward to the summer before high school. What’s not to smile about?

We started our tour on Wednesday morning at the IMAX Theater on Chicago’s Navy Pier. Our group grabbed popcorn, Juicy Juice, and headed to their seats. Eighth graders are a tough crowd to impress. Not only do find very few things cool, but getting them to emit it is cool is an even tougher feat.

From the minute the show started, the group was captivated. We saw the 3-D version of Born to Be Wild, the story of orphan elephant and orangoutangs being raised to survive on their own. IMAX did a great job at delivering on their promises of “Better visuals, better sound, better experience.” I heard a lot of ooohs, whoas, and cools! from our group. Most importantly, the movie provided learning experience that was fun!

We made a quick stop in the Navy Pier atrium to regroup and divide into smaller groups for…SHOPPING! The teens really enjoyed a few minutes to roam around and see the sites.


Once on the bus, the Justin Bieber concert began. The group (mostly girls) serenaded us on our way to Dave & Busters. The staff at D&B’s is always friendly and welcoming. They do not cringe at the thought of 50 teens descending upon them; in fact, the seem to enjoy it!


The group was treated to a burger and fresh fry buffet – delicious! I was thoroughly impressed at how well-mannered the group from Bennett was. The were under control, courteous, happy. They even took time after lunch to chill and socialize.

After lunch it was off to the Game Room to Burn off some steam. It also gave the seven teachers an opportunity to relax, chat, and reminisce about their eighth grade group. While there were clearly challenges throughout the year, everyone seems to be genuinely sad that the group was leaving.

Thank you to Ms. Joyce Bristow, Laura Wallace, and the staff at Bennett School for giving Teaching Safari an opportunity to develop this great Eighth Grade Field Trip!

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