Fairfield Elementary School
Boxerwood, The Department of Wildlife and Inland Fisheries, the STEM teacher, and parents all meet us at Laurel Run. The site was a great place for 120 students and their parents to explore and learn. Laurel Run had a huge pavilion with tables and picnic tables were scattered around the site. The students got off the buses and I divided the students into 4 groups. We then started the activities. The 5th grade teacher and I planned a variety of activities which cover all content areas. The students participated in a hike, water testing, nature journaling, an antonym search activity, and a STEM survival activity.
A member of the Boxerwood staff and myself led the hiking activity. The students came to us and we divided them into two groups, so the students could better experience nature. I took my groups first and the Boxerwood staff member started her hike 5 minutes after my group. We started the hike. The students were give cameras and directed to take a “selfie” of themselves and 3 “WOW” moment pictures. A “WOW” moment is a moment during the hike the students were amazed by what they were experiencing. As we hiked the students took pictures of the waterfall, rock formations, leaves, mushrooms and anything else amazing. Part way through the hike the students were given crayons and ask to match the crayon color to something they saw in nature. Overall the students enjoyed the hike expect for the gnats.
Students participated in a journaling and an antonyms search activity. The students were asked to journal about their experience throughout the day, the weather, and wrote a haiku about what they heard in nature. The students then worked with a partner to find objects in nature they described the antonyms they were given. The students were given egg cartons with two antonyms written on them like smooth and rough. They then had to find objects in nature to match their words. These were great language arts activities because the students were able to reflect on their experience and explore nature up close.
The final activities the students participated in was a STEM survival activity. The students had to figure out how long their stride was and do the math to determine the distance they could walk in a given amount of time as well as how many steps they take during each mile they walk. The students were then given a survival situation and asked to figure out how they would survive. The students came up with a variety of creative ways to survive.
This field trip was a success. The students experienced nature in their community. Overall, the students enjoyed the variety of activities. The 4th and 5th grade students enjoyed going on the trip together and getting to learn from each other. This trip was a success and I have many ideas on how to improve and make this trip better for next year.