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A Very Early Field Trip

The second week of school, we took our 5th graders on our first field trip of the year to Harris Forest Preserve. What? Seriously? Yes, it’s true!  As a connection to our first science unit, Ecosystems, we used the field trip as the unit kick-off since we had not really begun teaching . I have to admit, I was less than thrilled at this trip being so early in the year; however, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

The weather that day was beautiful, considering it had rained heavily the two days prior to the trip. My class was excited and eager for the day to begin. We had two great parent chaperones, Mrs. Bryant and Mrs. Kuhn, and our awesome Teaching Assistant, Miss Carol, joined us for the day! We went on a nature hike where we learned a great deal about our local ecosystem. Something all the kids enjoyed learning was what poison ivy looks like. They also enjoyed seeing if they could spot it on their own, which they did!

Another fun experience we had was our prairie exploration time. The kids had a great time catching, releasing, and identifying dragonflies, butterflies, bugs, and other prairie critters. Katie found the inchworm very fascinating…she likes inchworms a lot!!!

Katie’s Inchworm

We ended the day at the pond, looking for signs of a healthy ecosystem. We found evidence that the pond was healthy. There were nymphs, tadpoles, and other signs of growing and returning pond life. It was especially muddy around the pond, so the students had to be very cautious so they didn’t fall in or step in a soggy spot. Unfortunately, Chris didn’t realize his foot had sunk into the mucky mud until it was too late. The muck swallowed his shoe! Mrs. Bryant and I had to dig into the muck to find Chris’s shoe (we couldn’t see it). Once we felt it we had to pull until it suctioned itself free of the gripping muck…SSHHLLOOOOOOOPPP! Success!

Catching Critters at the Pond

A Beautiful Day to Catch CrittersThe Boys Love the Pond!

Our class thoroughly enjoyed this field trip and learned so much from the events of the day. We also benefitted greatly because the trip helped bring us closer as a class. It was a terrific opportunity to get to know each other better! Although I was not excited about the trip being so early, it truly turned out to be a blessing for our class!

About heatherk5

I am an enthusiastic, energetic, fifth grade teacher who loves reading, writing, and working with my students.

11 responses to “A Very Early Field Trip

  1. This looks like so much fun! We study plants and animals, so I should really look into a field trip to Harris Forest Preserve! I don’t know how I would survive with my terrible allergies, but the kids would have a blast! We will have to chat more at class! 🙂

  2. Wow, definitely impressive to take the kids on a field trip so early, I can’t even IMAGINE that! But it looks so fun and I am so glad it went well and that you had good weather! Hooray! 🙂

  3. theparalyzer ⋅

    I really learned a lot about poison ivy from this video. I didn’t know that it could be a tall plant. I always thought that it was ground cover. Do you teach your students the old expression: “Leaves of three–let them be!”?

  4. surfer ⋅

    I remember that field trip got really messy!

    • heatherk5

      I know…one of my favorite memories was when Chris lost his shoe in the mucky mud! We sure had some great times this year. I am super excited that you’re all keeping up with me on the blog! Let me know if you have any requests that you’d like me to post about.

  5. surfer ⋅

    Its was fun until someone’s shoe got stuck in it!!! 🙂 It you know who I am talking about!

    • heatherk5

      I totally do…Chris! That memory sure puts a smile on my face. I can still hear the “shhthhwwuuuck” sound the shoe made when we were finally able to get it out of the mud. I LOVE that sound!!!! What a muddy day that was for many of us!

      • surfer ⋅

        Mrs. Bryant and you had to find his shoe. Not only did Chris’ shoe got muddy but yours and Mrs. Bryant’s too! What a wonderful memory!!!

    • emmit tshort ⋅


  6. emmit tshort ⋅

    I remember almost falling in the water because of man-made-collapsed- river-banks.

  7. emmit tshort ⋅

    I liked that poison Ivy video. It taught me a lot.

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