Lesson Plan

Nature Hike

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Fifth Grade
Subject:
Biodiversity, Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants, Colonial History, Community, Ecology, Environment, Geography, Government, Historic Preservation, Military and Wartime History, Physical Fitness, Regional Studies, Revolutionary War, Science and Technology, Social Studies
Duration:
90-120 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 60
Setting:
in the park
National/State Standards:
NYS Content:
Gr. 4: Colonial/Rev Periods; Rev War in NYS
Gr. 5: US Hist
NYSED Standards:
1, 2, 3
US Standards:
Gr. 4: 2 A; 4 E
Keywords:
Battle of Saratoga, Battles of Saratoga, Saratoga Battlefield, Revolutionary War, American Revolution, military history, history, social studies, nature, ecology, environment, plants, animals

Overview

Nature hikes are a great way to explore outdoor areas, and Saratoga National Historical Park’s main hiking trail, the 4+ mile Wilkinson Trail, has much to offer.  Named for British mapmaker Lieutenant William Wilkinson, the trail has a shorter, 2 mile option useful with students.  This activity sheet accompanies the 2-mile hike, encouraging students to look around them and engage with the natural world around them.

Objective(s)

 Students will be able to:

  1. identify a list of things found in nature
  2. describe, in writing or art, something they enjoyed during their nature hike
  3. begin to develop an appreciation for nature

Background

This a fairly unstructured activity.  Students just need their worksheets and a pencil as the group does the 2-mile hike.  While there is a checklist of items to look for, which students should be encouraged to read through before the hike, it's just as important for them to simply walk and interact with the natural and cultural environment around them.

Materials

Downloadable PDF lesson materials:

Procedure

Assessment

 Best part about this activity: there's not much requiring assessment.  Certainly, check to see the students are paying attention.  The writing activity, or even the drawing activity, could be turned in as an assignment, as the teacher sees fit.

Park Connections

Schools wishing to do the nature hike should contact the park to arrange the trip and get important logistical details about planning.

Extensions

Assign groups of students to take digital pictures/video to make a poster, slide show, or video of their experience here.

Have students do another nature hike, perhaps even walking around your school and noting different plants and animals (or animal signs).

Vocabulary

SCAT --animal droppings; sounds gross, but it's an excellent way for scientists to see what kinds of animals live in an area, and determine what and how well the animals are eating