Since I went on the first grade field trip, Kiersten was insistent that I go to hers as well. The third graders were headed over to Powder Valley for some hiking/exploring/learning.
The day turned out to be pretty nice.
Kiersten's class went to the classroom first to learn about food webs and animal teeth.
She got to be part of the food chain demonstration. She was an opossum, so she was atop the food chain since they eat all the dead animals. They were pretty funny trying to put themselves in order.
Then they assembled food webs from animal photos. They all had the same pictures, but came up with different food web variations.
They got to play detective with an animal skull to determine what sort of animal it was. They looked at teeth, eye placement, skull size, etc to determine that they had a bobcat skull.
Once they solved the problem, they got to check out the corresponding pelt for their animal.
One of the groups had a beaver.
Kiersten was happy to see the opossum pelt, since that was the role she played at the beginning. She kept saying it was her little brother.
A terrifying rabbit skull!
The bear had the softest fur, and the biggest skull.
In the next classroom, they learned all about owls.
These girls were less than excited to dissect an owl pellet. I had to force the tweezers into Kiersten's hand.
Once they started getting some bones dug out, they got into it a little bit more enthusiastically.
The naturalist came over and helped her figure out that her owl had eaten a deer mouse. He showed her where the skull was crushed, which is likely how it was killed prior to being eaten. As grossed out as she had been at first, now she will not let me throw her mouse bones in the trash.
After lunch, our group had free exploring/hiking time. We hit the trails first thing.
It didn't take long to meet up with friends out on the hiking trail.
Kiersten's teacher spotted this frog chilling in the pond.
Inside, they had a great time exploring the tree house and all the exhibits.
Some of the kids were pretty terrified by all these bees!
These big snapping turtles were pretty popular with the kids.
It really warmed up by the time we were ready to go on the nature walk.
They played a food chain game with several grasshoppers, a handful of voles, and 2 hawks. Kiersten was excited to be at the top of the food chain. The grasshoppers picked up poker chips off the ground, and if a vole ate them, they handed over the chips they'd collected. Then if one of the 2 hawks ate a vole, they got all of the chips they had gotten from grasshoppers.
2 really sweet, slightly timid hawks were not very aggressive capturing those voles, but they had enough chips to get the general point across.
After the game we went on a nature walk. The kids got to see what poison ivy looks like and then dig for bugs. My 2 charges were not very into to bug collecting, so I had to get down in there with them more than I'd have liked.
We kept catching the same daddy long legs, but it would escape as we tried to get the lid on without it crawling on us. The poor thing must have been traumatized after being caught 5-6 times.