Elementary School Field Trips

Nature Programs for Elementary School Students

Join us for half-day programs featuring guided nature walks, environmental games, and hands on investigations.  All programs are aligned with HCPSS science curriculum, Environmental Literacy Standards and Next Generation Science Standards and encourage children to become engaged, to explore, and to explain what they observe. The Nature Programs also serve as an extension of concepts presented in the classroom. Elementary school programs take place in the morning, with an optional extension for lunch on-site. K-3 field trips are offered at our Mt. Pleasant location; the fourth grade program will be at our Belmont location. If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Naturalist, please use the contact form below to get information about our next training sequence.

Download the 2019-2020 Elementary Brochure.

Kindergarten Program (Fall or Spring)

Wild Exploration

Hike around the farm to discover animal pelts, skulls, tracks, nests and other evidence of wildlife. Meet our resident terrapin, discover ways that plants, animals and humans share resources, and discover how students can help protect the habitats of  the animals they meet.  Field trip length: 1 hour 45 minutes

  • HCPSS Science Curriculum: GK.Q1 Scientists and Engineers; & GK.Q4 Relationships in the Ecosystem
  • NGSS K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals need to survive.
  • K-ESS2-2. Learn how plants and animals can change the environment to meet their needs.
  • K-ESS3-3. Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the environment.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 4: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

First Grade Program (Fall)

Owl’s Observations

Students will meet our resident barred owl and learn about survival from egg to adult. Search our meadows and forests for signs of animals and their homes and discover how the external features of an animal help it survive in the wild.  Field trip length: 1 hour 45 minutes

  • HCPSS Science Curriculum: G1Q1 Plant and Animal: Structure and Function
  • NGSS 1-LS1-2. Determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.
  • 1-LS3-1. Observe and argue that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 4: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

Second Grade Program (Fall)

The Science of Soil

Students get their hands dirty as they explore the changing landscape. Students will create soil ribbons to classify soil texture, discover the rocks beneath us, evaluate ways to prevent erosion, and gain a greater appreciation for the importance of soil in the lives of plants and animals. Field trip length: 2 hours 15 minutes

  • HCPSS Science Curriculum: G2.Q2 Earth’s Features; & G2Q3 Earth’s Changing Landscape
  • NGSS 2-PS1-1. Describe and classify materials by observable properties.
  • 2-ESS1-1. Provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.
  • 2-ESS2-1. Compare solutions designed to prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 2: Interactions of Earth’s Systems
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 5: Humans and Natural Resources

Second Grade Program (Spring)

Buggin’ Out

Through hands-on investigation, students evaluate insect habitats and adaptations. We will search through forest and meadow habitats on a guided scavenger hunt and discover the mysteries of the bees and butterflies along the new Pollinator Trail.  Visit honeybee hives, native bee nests, butterfly gardens and more!  Field trip length: 2 hours 15 minutes

  • HCPSS Science Curriculum: G2.Q4 Relationships within Habitats
  • NGSS 2-LS4-1. Make observations to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 4: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

Third Grade Program (Spring)

Habitats and Homes

Students hike through meadows to the stream to track native animals. They will visit our owl, terrapin, and black rat snake, evaluating the traits that allow individuals in a species to thrive in different ecosystems. Early fall trips may also explore monarch butterflies and how we can all work to protect them.   Field trip length: 2 hours 15 minutes

  • HCPSS Science Curriculum: G3.Q1 Inheritance and Variation of Traits; & G3.Q4 Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • NGSS 3-LS3-2. Explain how traits can be influenced by the environment.
  • 3-LS4-2. Explain how the variations in a species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, or reproducing.
  • 3-LS4-3. Argue from evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 4: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

Fourth Grade Program (Fall or Spring)

Mystery of the Patapsco River

Solve the mystery of the Patapsco Valley by deconstructing colonial industries and searching for signs of water’s movement now and during Belmont Manor’s colonial period. Learn about Belmont’s colonial inhabitants and their connection to the land.  Program offered at our Belmont location. Field trip length: 2 hours 15 minutes.

  • HCPSS Social Studies Curriculum: G4.Q3 Colonial Life
  • HCPSS Science Curriculum: G4.Q3 Earth’s Stystems: Shaping the Earth
  • NGSS 4-ESS2-1 Earth’s Systems. Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
  • 4-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 2: Interactions of Earth’s Systems
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 7: Environment and Society

Fifth Grade Program (Fall and Spring)

Belmont BioBlitz

Students will investigate the forests and meadows of Belmont, using technology to document the species found. Nature discovery stations will include a guided investigation at the pond and a chance to meet an apex predator, such as a terrapin or screech owl.  During the trip, students obtain, evaluate and communicate information about the interdependent relationships in ecosystems by investigating the plants and animals found in a given habitat.  The information gathered on ArcGIS may be used in the classroom to support investigations into citizen science, ecosystems and energy transfer.   This project will take place on school yards and at the Belmont location in Elkridge for field trips.  We also offer an Outreach Program to schools interested in diving deeper in to the data their students took on the school yard!

  • HCPSS Science Curriculum: G5Q1 Environmental Report Card; & G5Q4Matter and Energy in Ecosystems
  • NGSS 5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
  • 5-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
  • 5-PS3-1 Energy. Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 3: Flow of Matter and Energy
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 4: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 7: Environment and Society

Visit our Project on iNaturalist

Visit our Belmont BioBlitz page for more information, availability and to see the BioBlitz in the news

Cost

$7.00 per student. No charge for teachers and chaperones. For an even better price, your school can book two or more field trips with the Conservancy for this school year and the price is reduced to $6.50/student (valid for school-year elementary programs.)  Small groups are welcome; minimum fee is $150.

Weather Policy

In the event of inclement weather, we will attempt to move portions of our program under cover. However, the hiking program is outdoors. We encourage children to get outside in a variety of weather conditions; please use your discretion should rain be forecast. In the event of heavy rain, thunder, or high winds programs will be rescheduled if possible.

Learn more about our Field Experiences

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