【Japan - Saitama Prefecture】: All-School Walking Excursion: "Wonderful Discovery“, ”Full of Warm Words“, ”Full of Thank You!“

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Creating questions for Quiz-Rally game (pre-event activity).

Mixed-age groups work together to reach the destination zoo.

Mixed-age groups work together to arrive at the destination zoo.

Reflection (post-event activity).

The following is an introduction to an all-school walking excursion as a school event, conducted by the groups consisting of students of different ages (Mixed-age groups).

The excursion’s outline was decided by the teachers, but the students' ideas were incorporated, and the results exceeded our expectations.
 (Example 1) The representative committee of students cooperated well, then the excursion became full of originality and ingenuity.
 (Example 2) When activities were conducted mainly by the mixed-age groups, the upper graders developed a sense of leadership and responsibility, while the lower graders worked together and enjoyed their activities, and the lower graders admired the upper graders.

   Target grades:

   Activity Category:   


1st grade to 6th grad

  1. Representative committee meeting (lunch break) *Pre-event activities
  2. Mixed-age group activities (lunch break) *Pre-event activities
  3. School event (1 day (approx. 5 hours))
  4. Reflection (classroom activities, lunch break) *Post-event activities


  • To foster better human relations and social skills by working together in the mixed-age groups, recognizing each other's strengths, supporting each other, and cooperating with each other to reach a destination.
  • To learn about the local community, become familiar with nature, and improve physical fitness.

Teachers' and students' belongings

◎Student's belongings
Ticket for the bus
・First aid kit for excursion (for students)
 ・Safety hat
 ・Bibs (for group leader) *A vest-like garment worn to reveal who the group leader is.
 ・Lunch box
 ・Water bottle
 ・Map to the zoo
 ・Map of the zoo
 ・Quiz rally answer sheet
・Writing utensils, etc.

◎Teachers' belongings
 First-aid kit for excursions (for teachers), etc. in addition to the students' belongings.

Implementation Procedure

①   Preparation of teachers

First, the teachers made the following preparations and decided on the outline of the "All-school Walking Excursion".
Contact and meeting with zoo.
・Check the route to the zoo and dangerous areas.
・Decide where to set up the quiz rally questions.
・Decide the location of the zoo's headquarters where teachers would wait.
・Prepare a map to the zoo for the students.
・Distribute the roles of the teachers and staff, etc.

②   Representative committee discussion (lunch break) *Pre-event activities

Based on the outline of the "All-School Walking Excursion" decided in “ Preparation of teachers”, a representative committee organized by students' representatives discussed how to make the "All-School Walking Excursion " a more fulfilling activity.
They decided on the theme of the excursion, the creation of the award certificates, having a teacher bingo, etc.

③   Mixed-age group activity (lunch break)*Pre-event activity

The mixed-age groups discussed and decided on the distribution of roles on the excursion (watch, record, health) and created questions for the quiz rally.

④   All-school walking excursion (departure ceremony)

Representative committee students presented the theme of the excursion and explained the rules. In addition, the teacher in charge explained the precautions to be taken.

The school heroes "Heartleaf Man and Hokko Leaf Man (characters played by representatives of the students)" also made an appearance to enliven the ceremony.

⑤   All-school walking excursion (quiz rally, inside the zoo)

The mixed-age groups walked to the zoo while cooperating in a quiz rally. After arriving at the zoo, the students enjoyed eating lunch and riding the rides in the mixed-age groups.

⑥  All-school walking excursion (arrival ceremony)

The students then moved from the zoo to the school. Upon arrival at the school, an awards ceremony was held. The students were given certificates of merit, which were decided by the representative committee. The certificates were as follows.
Perfect awardHigh score in the quiz rally
○Good friendship award→They cooperated and helped each other.
○On-time arrival award→Finish the goal exactly on time.

Finally, the principal recognized the good work of the students and encouraged all of them.

⑦   Reflection (classroom activities, lunch break) *Post-event activities

Later, the students wrote their personal reflections on the excursion, including what they enjoyed, what they were able to grow, and what they would like to do better next year.

They also wrote message cards to their group leaders and friends in the mixed-age groups. (e.g., Thank you, advice for next year, etc.)

Students' Voices

The following statements were found in the message cards written by the students.
Individual Comments (5th grade representative committee member): I was able to explain the rules with a smile and enjoy myself even though it was my first time to be a Hartlehman. Next year, I want to lead everyone.
Message from a 6th grader (group leader) to a 1st grader: I enjoyed the All-school walking excursion. I know it was your first time and you must have been nervous, but I am glad you seemed to be having fun. Next year will be the 2nd graders, so please take care of the 1st graders.

From the author

In order to enhance school events, we have actively incorporated students' ideas. It is important to make a clear distinction between what is decided by the teachers and what is left to the students. Through the mixed-age group activities, the students can recognize each other's strengths and work together to develop their social skills.

Explanation of terms

◎Mixed-age Groups: See the following URL

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