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Field trips: 4th-5th grade

Make outdoor science fun and engaging on a field trip through The Morton Arboretum. Guided and self-guided programs listed are for grades 4th and 5th and are designed for student’s age nine and up.  Details concerning fees and other information is listed below. 

 

REGISTER NOW for Summer Self-Guided Field Trips.

 

Guided adventures

*Guided Programs for Fall 2015 are now listed* Registration for Fall School Programs Opens on Monday August 3rd.

 

Cycles and Solutions

1.5 hours | 180 students maximum
Nature has a remarkable ability to renew itself through oxygen, water, and soil cycles. Discover the role that trees play in nature’s regeneration. Examine the forms of energy that drive these cycles. Students will discover how these unique cycles exist within each of Illinois's diverse ecosystems. This is a half day program, but can booked as a full day option when paired with either the Woodland Ecosystem or the Botany Lab.

This program emphasizes the following NGSS Standard:

4PS3-2: Transfer of energy

This program emphasizes the following Illinois Learning Standards:

11A-2a: Scientific Questions and Exploring Solutions
12E-2a: Natural Cycles
13B-2f: Human Impact on Ecosystems

Teacher resources:

Cycles Solutions Vocabulary
Cycles and Solutions Vocabulary word search
Cycles and Solutions Vocabulary short answers
Cycles and Solutions Vocabulary game

 

Energized Ecosystems *New*

1.5 hours | 180 students maximum

Trace the flow of matter and energy through The Morton Arboretum's ecosystems. Explore the processes that allow nature to recycle and renew itself. Uncover the the connections that lie between organisms and the energy in their environment. Students will examine the structures and processes that plants and animals use to make or obtain energy. This is a half day program, but can be booked as a full day option when paired with the Botany Lab.

This program emphasizes the following NGSS Standards:

  • 4PS3-2: Transfer of energy
  • 4-LS1-1: Plant and animal structures that support survival, growth, behavior and reproduction.
  • 5-LS1-1: Plants needs for growth
  • 5-ESS2-1: Interactions among geo, bio and hydro spheres.

 

Woodland Ecosystem Study

1.5 hours | 180 students maximum
Uncover the inner workings of the woodland. Learn how this seemingly static environment is ever changing. Explore the layers of the forest and discover the interdependence of the plants and animals that live there. Take a closer look at tree parts, investigate the life cycle of a tree from seed to soil and identify some common Illinois trees.  It is recommended that students learn the vocabulary for this program before attending the field trip.

This program emphasizes the following NGSS Standard:

5-LS1-1: Plants needs for growth

This program emphasizes the following Illinois Learning Standards:

11A-2a: Scientific Questions
12A-2a: Life Cycles
12B-2a: Food Webs
13B-3e: Conservation

Teacher resources:

Woodland Ecosystem Study 4-5 Vocabulary Definitions
Woodland Crossword 1
Woodland Crossword 2
Woodland Vocabulary Game

 

Prairie Ecosystem Study

1.5 hours | 180 students maximum

Explore The Morton Arboretum's Schulenberg Prairie as you participate in hands-on activities. Students will discover the unique history of the early Illinois settlers as they examine the unique biodiversity of this ecosystem. Students explore the abiotics of the prairie and connect them to the adaptations of the plants and animals living here. For a full day experience, add the Botany Lab or Prairie Lab to this program.

Teacher resources:

Prairie Program Vocabulary List

Prairie Program Vocabulary Game

Prairie Program Post Activity

This program emphaiszes the following NGSS

4-LS1-1: Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior and reproduction.

5-LS2-1: Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers and the environment

 

Leave No Child Inside

1.5 hours | 200 students maximum
A growing body of research is telling us that unstructured time spent outdoors in nature is critical to children's physical, social, and emotional development. Such outdoor experiences can foster creativity, emotional well-being, independent learning, and problem solving. The beauty of the Arboretum changes daily, and your students will have an opportunity to explore whatever is most interesting on the day of your visit. One of our guides will be on hand to answer questions and guide students to exciting questions and observations, but the focus is on free exploration of nature. This program is not meant to address any specific Illinois Learning Standards.

Teacher resources:
Leave No Child Inside Vocabulary 4th-5th
Leave No Child Inside Vocabulary Crossword 4th-5th
 

FULL-DAY OPTIONS

For questions, please contact the Coordinator of School Programs, Kerry Steele, at 630-725-2118 or ksteele@mortonarb.org. Morning sessions are typically 9:30-11 am and afternoon sessions are typically 11:45 am-1:15 pm.
 

Eco-Comparisons (4th-5th) 

3 hours (1.5 hour coniferous woodland and 1.5 hour deciduous woodland or prairie with lunch in between) | 180 students maximum
Spend a full day in the Arboretum’s woodland and prairie ecosystems comparing and contrasting the plants and animals found in two different ecosystems. Learn to use scientific instruments to measure a variety of abiotic factors (temperature, wind, light) to determine why different plants and animals are found in different ecosystems.  Work as a team to collect and compare observations.

This program emphasizes the following NGSS Standards:

5-LS1-1: Plants needs for growth
5-ESS2-1: Interactions among geo, bio and hydro spheres.

This program emphasizes the following Illinois Learning Standards:

11A-2b: Data Collection / Process Skills
12B-2b: Habitats / Adaptations
13B-1a: Scientific Instruments

Teacher resources:

Eco Comparison Vocabulary
Eco Comparisons Vocabulary Activity
Eco Comparisons Vocabulary Fill In the Blank

 

Prairie Ecosystem Study Plus Lab

3 hours | 180 students maximum (1.5 hours in a the field and 1.5 hours in the lab with lunch in between)

Enhance your Prairie Ecosystem Study experience by adding the Prairie Lab program. In this lab, students explore up-close the adaptations of prairie plants and animals they discovered in the field.

Teacher resources:

Prairie Program Vocabulary List

Prairie Program Vocabulary Game

Prairie Program Post Activity

This program emphasizes the following NGSS:

4-LS1-1: Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior and reproduction.

5-LS2-1: Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers and the environment.

 

Tree Lab *Pilot Program*

3 Hours (1.5 hours in a field program and 1.5 hours in the lab with a lunch in between)

Enhance your student’s field trip experience with an up-close examination of the woodland’s largest producer, Trees. This lab program can be paired with either Woodland Ecosystem, Energized Ecosystems, or Cycles and Solutions. Students will uncover a tree’s anatomy and unique adaptations. In addition they will identify the environmental stresses and pressures that these unique and powerful producers overcome to survive. This lab utilizes iPad microscopes and has a capacity of 80 students.

This program emphasizes the following NGSS Standards:

  • 4-LS1-1: Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal or external structure that function to support survival, growth, behavior and reproduction.

  • 5-LS1-1: Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.

  • MS-LS1-6: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.

 

Botany Lab

3 hours  (1.5 hours in a field program and 1.5 hours in the lab with lunch in between)
Enhance your experience at the Arboretum by combining Cycles and Solutions, Woodland Ecosystem Study, No Child Left Inside, or the Prairie Ecosystem Study with our new Botany Lab.  Students will gain a deeper understanding of plant anatomy through the examination and disection of seeds, flowers, roots and leaves.

This program emphasizes the following NGSS Standard:

  • 4-LS1-1: Plant and animal structures that support survival, growth, behavior and reproduction. 


This program emphasizes the following Illinois Learning Standards:

11A-2b: Data Collection/Process Skills
12A-2a: Life Cycles
12B-2b: Adaptations

Teacher resources:
Botany Lab Vocabulary
Botany Lab Crossword

 

Self-guided adventures

 

Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat

Maximum: students
Time is running out for more than 8,000 tree species.  Yet, few people know of their plight.  All over the world forces threaten wild tree species.  Explore this new outdoor exhibit and offer your students a timely and compelling look at endangered trees, reasons to care about this pressing global issue, an inspiring view of how trees enrich our lives and simple actions for environmental stewardship. The exhibit is located in the Conifer Collection on the east side of The Morton Arboretum.

Teacher resources:
Vanishing Acts Exhibit Guide Grades 3-5
 

Joy Path Self-Guided

Maximum: 180 students
Use an interpreted trail, teacher guide, activity backpack, and map to explore woodlands and aquatic ecosystems. Each pack serves 15 students and two chaperones.

Potential to address the following IL Learning Standards:

11A - Scientific Inquiry
12A - Life Cycles
12B - Habitats and Food Webs
12E - Natural Cycles
16E - Environmental History

Teacher resources:
Joy Path Pack Information for Self Guided Groups
 

Woodland, Wetland, Prairie

Maximum: 180 students
Make discoveries on your own while exploring the Arboretum’s woodlands, wetlands, and prairies (no support materials provided). Below are some suggested itineraries that take up to approximately 90 minutes. These options may include interpretive trail signs.

East Side: Starting at parking lot #8 walk the “Joined Loops 3 & 4 Trail” to Big Rock Visitor Station. Continue on the "Woodland Trail" to Big Rock. For a longer experience, walk the long way around the “Heritage Trail” back to the Big Rock Visitor’s Station. 

West Side: Starting at the Prairie Visitor Station (parking lot #25) walk the Prairie Trail loop and go to parking lot #30. For a longer experience, walk to the nearby Millennium Oak.

Teacher resources:
ABC Hike
Observations of a leaf
Observe and Sketch
Sensory Investigation
The Living and The Non-Living Treasure Hike  
Wetland Treasure Hunt   

 

SCHEDULE AND LOCATION: 
 

Field trips can include either or both guided and self-guided adventures. See fees and admission for more details. 

Guided adventures

  • Available during spring and fall school season for grades PreK-12
  • Duration: 1.5 hours (Pre-K and Kindergarten programs are 1.25 hours)
  • Morning programs are scheduled Monday-Friday, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
  • Afternoon programs are scheduled Monday-Friday, 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.

Self-guided adventures

  • Available year-round for grades PreK-12
  • Scheduled Monday-Friday during open hours 

 

FEES AND ADMISSION: 
 

Field trip fees:

  • One guided advenure (1.5 hours): $7 per student, $15 registration fee
  • One guided adventure (3.0 hours): $10 per student, $30 registration fee
  • Two guided adventures (3.0 hours): $10 per student, $30 registration fee
  • One guided adventure (1.5 hours) + Self-guided adventure: $10 per student, $30 registration fee
  • Self-guided adventure: $6 per student, $15 registration fee

Fees include admission to the Arboretum for:

  • All registered and attending students
  • All registered and attending adult chaperones (two adults for every 15 students)
  • State required aides

 

REGISTRATION INFORMATION: 
 
  • Registration must be completed 3 weeks prior to field trip date
  • Dates are reserved on a first come, first served basis so early registration is STRONGLY encouraged
  • Adult chaperones are required, two adults for every 15 students
  • Payment is due 2 weeks before the date of the field trip

CALL: Call the registrar at 630-719-2468, Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

ONLINE: Fill out the online form for Field trips: 4th-5th gradeREGISTER NOW