FIRST GRADE CURRICULUM OPTIONS
Location: Peavy Pond & Stream (or any local or school yard stream)
Season: Fall or Spring
Kit: Observing an Aquarium
2 Hour Field Trip Activities
Students are put in small groups of 15 or less and rotate through different activities.
- Aquatic Netting – Students use nets and containers to see what they can find and identify in the stream or pond. Large, simple charts are used to help kids identify species. Magnifying glasses and containers help students see life up close.
- Aquatic Food Chain – Using the species we find, students act out a food chain learning about what animals eat; from plant eaters, to prey and predators. (Option to connect with knowledge and study of Rachel Carson’s bioaccumulation on toxins in the ecosystem.)
- Web of Life – In this group activity students look at animals and plants of the pond and see how they are connected and depend on each other.
- Parts of the Pond Investigation – Explore the pond’s important plants and features along with some simple journal activities.
What is a Habitat?
Location: Any Forest Trail
1 or 2 Hour Field Trip Activities
- Nature’s Resources – Animals need food, water, shelter, and space to live. They must compete with other plants and animals to get these resources. Students will discover what happens if some of these resources are taken away.
- Habitat – Learn about predators and prey and how the habitat works to protect prey.
- Habitat Hike – Take a short hike looking for signs of wildlife and components of a habitat. With a simple journal and scavenger hunt students will explore different parts of a habitat and find signs of local wildlife using its habitat.
- Web of Life – In this group activity students take a look at animals and plants of the forest and how they are connected and depend on each other. (Not done in the combined pond/habitat program.)
Any forest, stream, pond, or school ground area can be used and activities can combine for a full day of outdoor learning.
Classroom or Nature Center Visits
1 Hour Lesson and Activity Options
Water Droplet – Journey as a water droplet through the water cycle with a random unpredictable path ahead. Students will roll dice to see where they will go. Many travel to the clouds and so many wait in the ocean. Educational adventures in water continue with every roll. Graph results to bring great math fun into your classroom.
Insect Investigator – Take a hike to find live insects. Depending on the Season, we will use different locations from downed trees to wetlands. This can be done on school grounds or other natural areas. Identify insect species and view adaptations. Use scientific tools like hand magnifiers, nets, bug viewers and species keys.
Hands-On Insect – Hold live walking sticks! View and discuss body parts and adaptations, and incomplete vs. complete metamorphosis. Play an active game to understand insect life cycles!
Mammal Mania – Get hands-on with mammal skulls and furs. Look at local species and their adaptations. Explore the scientific method through mammal tracks. Then, create your own track story using common mammals tracks stamping.
Wetland Wonders (Outdoor Nature Center Program) – Local flooding from the Mary’s River creates an amazing wetland ecosystem that explodes with life each spring. Find and identify different aquatic invertebrates like insects, crustaceans, isopods, copepods, and arthropods. (Note: This program depends on rain and is usually suitable from March to early May. Students must wear waterproof boots.)