Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Field Trip to Friends of the Rappahanock

I am so glad the rain held off for us today - the temperature was great in the shade and I don't think anybody got too bit up by bugs! Below, you can see pictures which chronicle the day's events.

Workshop #1: Our Five Senses

Holding onto a rope in order to go on a 'blind walk' through the woods.
The goal here was to isolate and use our sense of sound... unfortunately,
all we could really hear were cicadas!
At the fire pit, using our sense of sight to see critters who like to hide.
Students stood and shouted, "A FROG!" 

On a Scavenger Hunt.  Students had to find something: skinny, prickly, smooth, long,
short, symmetrical, round, non-living* and curvy. 
As a teacher, I was kind of annoyed/irritated when our tour guide told a student she was wrong for saying a stick was 'non-living.' In her mind, because a stick was once connected to a tree, it was once living and could therefore not be considered non-living.  Mrs. Smith said her tour guide said the same thing about a house because a house is made of wood, which was at one point living. What!? Living at one point or not, these things are both very clearly NOT living now. Hmph. 

Checking out the Scavenger Hunt findings.
Waiting for other groups to finish the Scavenger Hunt.

Using our sense of smell to smell Honeysuckle* flowers.  Students also
got to smell the leaves from the Spice Plant. Most students liked both.

*Fun fact for parents! Did you know that Honeysuckle is not an indigenous plant to Virginia? In fact, it was brought from overseas and is actually considered a nuisance as it grows abundantly and kills other plants. Didn't know that before today.

Back to our sense of touch with the mystery box! Students got
the chance to reach in and feel a mysterious object, giving clues
to their peers such as "it's round, hard and rough." The student
who guessed correctly was the next one to reach into the box.
I am going to make one of these!!

The sense of taste was used for lunch. ;0) After lunch, it was time for our second workshop.

Workshop #2: Plant Parts

Students began this workshop by turning themselves into a human tree.  Students posed as the following: roots, trunk, bark, branches, leaves, seeds.  Each group had to say its role in helping the tree before we could move on.  Here's the video:

After students went through the various parts of the tree, they got to pick a leaf for a leaf rubbing.  Students then sat under a pavilion with picnic tables and rotated between four stations: seed, flower, bark & leaf.  At each station, students looked at examples of the items and either drew a picture of what they saw (seed & flower) or created a rubbing (bark & leaf) in their booklet.

Kiddos working hard at the flower station.

Finished booklet.

In my mind, we got the best workshop last.

Workshop #3: Animal Habitats
Students began this station by searching through marked areas ('habitats') for critters.  They had to count the amount of plants in their habitat before they could dig/turn things over to find creepy crawlies.  

Once students found a creature, they got to carefully put it in the special magnifying tool (a basic kids' microscope, I guess) and observe it from the top and bottom.

When students had ample time to look at their bugs, our tour guide pointed out how many plants were in the habitats compared to how many animals we found.  She asked students what it was more important to have more of: plants or animals.  Some children answered, "animals."  Brenda (our guide) told the students it was like if she told them not to pack a lunch because she had lunch for all of them, and then only brought out a solitary apple at lunch time.  She asked what would happen then.  David exclaimed, "We would die!"

Ha. Ha. Ha.

No, not quite. But the kids understood -- they would have been insanely hungry and had to fight over the apple.  Those that said there should be more animals than plants in a habitat quickly changed their answer.

And then it was time for what everyone had been waiting for!

Time to sit on the river bank!
And just how long do you think Brenda kept students' interest there, on the side of the river?

Not long.
Before we knew it, it was time to go back to school!
I am not sure what Marco is doing in this picture,
but I kind of love it. Also, why am I the only one
in the sun?!

And when you take a kid on a field trip, well..

Just adorable.

As always, owl be teaching you tomorrow!

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