Flexibility for weather conditions, bus problems, etc…is essential to having an enjoyable visit to the park. No two school programs are exactly alike, but the following schedule represents a typical trip.
The ranger-led portion of this field trip could also be scheduled for the afternoon, with students doing independant class activities in morning.
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Travel to the Park
Simple assignments can be completed by seatmates or individuals during this time. Point out sights along the way that relate to the park story such as mountains, valleys, forests, river crossings, and cities. You may also want to review vocabulary words or ecological concepts.
9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Meet Park Rangers
After a brief welcome by the park rangers to Glacier National Park, the ranger(s) will talk with the chaperones and teacher(s) about the schedule for the day, and then the students will take a quick bathroom and snack break.
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Puppet Show
Rangers will review the importance of park resources with the students and discuss ways for the group today to protect those resources.
10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Classes break into 2 smaller groups for Ranger Led Activities
Group A - Students hike with a ranger on a small section of trail. Along the trail, they learn how scientists use all of their senses to make observations about the natural world around them.
Group B - Students participate in stations at the Nature Center/Ranger Station and other ranger-led activities to learn how animals use their senses.
11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Groups A and B switch so that students have an opportunity to participate in every activity.
11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Conclusion
Bathroom break followed by conclusion. Ranger(s) review the educational objectives for the day with all of the students to assess their learning.
*(Optional) 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Independent Class Activities
Students, teachers, and chaperones may go to the picnic area for lunch. Often each class will choose to remain in the park for teacher-led activities in the forest or by the lakeshore. Park rangers will not remain with the group during the afternoon. (The bus usually leaves the park by 1:30 to return to school before dismissal.)