Exploring Habitats Field Trip

Grade: 2
Subject: Science
Skills: Observe (using all senses), sort/classify, compare & contrast, match, count, communicate findings
Duration: 4 hours
Group Size: 45 students total, 2 groups of 22 or 3 groups of 15 students
Location: Apgar Village, Beaver Pond and Sun Point Trails, Lubec and Mt. Henry Trails, or the South Shore Trail.
Available Dates: Fall and Spring
Vocabulary: See the bolded words in the objectives below.

Summary: Students will participate in ranger-led activities at the Discovery Cabin, in the forest next to the cabin, and take a 1.5 mile hike along the Oxbow Trail.

NPS arrowhead introduction

Objectives: (These are some of the objectives that can be achieved on an Exploring Habitats program. Many others are possible depending on teacher's focus and the ranger).

Students will be able to:

  • Describe what national parks protect and one reason Glacier National Park was established.
  • Name or draw an animal that lives in each of the alpine, forest, aquatic, or grassland habitats of Glacier.
  • Give another word that can be used in place of habitat and list the requirements all animals (and people) need in their habitats: food, water, shelter, space.
  • Tell one thing animals (and people) could do if their habitat changes.
  • Show or tell one thing people should do to be safe when hiking in a place that has wild animals.
  • Use magnifying glasses to observe a small area and communicate their findings to the group.
  • Describe a beaver’s habitat. (Tell which it is: aquatic, forest, grassland, or alpine).
  • Tell a characteristic of a beaver that helps it live in its habitat.
  • Give one way a beaver can change its habitat and one way that people change their habitat to help them to live.
  • Name (and possibly see!) several animals that are found in the forest and describe why they choose this area as their home.
  • Predict what animals could be seen in the alpine zone of the park.
  • Sort, count, and classify various natural objects. Then try to identify those same objects on the trail.
  • Use bingo cards in a scavenger hunt activity to find evidence of organisms and habitats along the trail.
  • Make a number of simple food chains of organisms in Glacier National Park.
  • List things plants need to live and how they get those things from their habitats in Glacier National Park.

Montana Content and Performance Standards:

10.54.5010 Science Standard 1= Design, conduct, evaluate, and communicate scientific investigations.

10.54.5020 Science Standard 2= Demonstrate knowledge of properties, forms, changes, and interactions of physical and chemical systems.

10.54.5030 Science Standard 3=Demonstrate knowledge of characteristics, structures and function of living things, the process and diversity of life, and how living organisms interact with each other and their environment.

habitat activity

Making Connections to Glacier National Park:

One of the reasons Glacier National Park was established was to preserve habitat as well as the natural processes and the biological diversity (variety of plants and animals) within habitats.

Field Trip Logistics:

Teachers wishing to have their students participate in the habitat field trip must have their classes divided into groups of approximately 20 students. For example, a bus of 45 - 60 students would be divided into 2-3 groups, of 15-20 students each.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936


(406) 888-7800
Phones are generally staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm.

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