Grade: 3-6 (can be modified for older students)
Skills: Communicate, Observe, Identify, Model
Duration: 4.5 hours
Group Size: 60 students total, 2 groups of 30 students
Location: Trail of the Cedars, Native Plant Nursery
Available Dates: Spring and Fall
Vocabulary: See the bolded words in the objectives below.
Summary: Students may visit the native plant nursery and then travel to a 1-2 mile long (round-trip) trail to hike with a ranger. There will be stops at various points along the trail to do an activity or discuss something they see in the forest.
Objectives: (These are examples of some of the objectives that can be achieved on a forest walk. Many others are possible depending on the teacher's focus and the ranger.)
Students will be able to:
- Tell what national parks protect and one reason Glacier National Park was established.
- Identify coniferous trees with a dichotomous key.
- Give 3 examples of interrelationships in the forest.
- Point to a place in the forest that would have a different micro-climate than on the trail.
- Define producers, consumers, decomposers and point to an example of each in the forest.
- Model how trees transfer food and water throughout their structures, and how they are adapted for protection from insects, cold weather, and drought.
- Name one symbiotic relationship in the forest.
- Write a recipe for soil.
- List the raw materials needed for photosynthesis as well as the products.
- Explain how trees play a role in the carbon cycle.
- Find an example along the trail of a living organisms depending on something non-living.
- Give an example of a forest community food chain.
- Give one way that non-native plants can cause problems for native plants and wildlife.
- List 2 ways that humans impact native plants in the forest.
- Describe one benefit of planting native plants over non-native plants.
- Identify at least one plant and tell how Native Americans used it.
Montana Content and Performance Standards:
10.54.5010 Science Standard 1= “…design, conduct, evaluate, and communicate scientific investigations.”
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.”
10.54.5040 Science Standard 4= “…demonstrate knowledge of the composition, structures, processes, and interactions of earth’s systems and other objects in space.”
Making Connections to Glacier National Park:
One of the reasons Glacier National Park was established was to preserve the natural processes and the biological diversity (variety of plants and animals) that live here.
Field Trip Logistics:
Teachers wishing to have their students participate in the forest processes field trip should plan to arrive in the park by 9:30 – 10 a.m. and stay until 1:30 – 2 p.m. Everyone must be prepared to be outside all day and ready to hike 2 miles on fairly level terrain.