Friday, September 30, 2011

First Field Trip!

Yesterday was our first field trip. We are lucky enough to be right down the road from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and we have an incredible partnership with the park. Each grade level gets to go on 3 field trips as parks as a classroom. The trips incorporate both science and social studies units and are aligned with our standards. In kindergarten, we do two trips in the Fall and one in the Spring. Our first one was to the headquarters to learn about the different community helper jobs the park rangers have. Here are a  couple of books I like to read with my kids to get them ready for the National Park. I also like the book Troublesome Cub but couldn't get an image of it.
We start out by talking about how the National Park is not like an amusement park or playground. We also spend a lot of time talking about Leave No Trace ethics. It is an important part of our partnership to instill stewardship and a love for the park from an early age. 
The students got to hear from a Tennessee Wildlife Resource agent about bears. They sorted some different foods as to what is healthy for a bear and what is not. Then they talked about what to do if you see a bear. Where we live, it is a good chance you could come across a bear. Then they got to touch a "bear carpet" as one of the kids called it.

The next part of the trip, they got to hear about the law enforcement and paramedic part of the park. They were shown what happens if someone gets hurt on a trail and how they get them out. They also got to try on handcuffs and hear the sirens. All in all, it was a fun morning. I was so proud of how well they behaved and it was a good first field trip. Our next one is next week and we learn about our 5 senses with a talking chimney. What kind of field trips do you go on with your class?

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