Field Trips

Student Phenology for Outdoor Citizens

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Common Core Standards:
4.L.1, 4.L.3, 4.RF.3, 4.RF.4.a, 4.RF.4.c, 4.RI.1, 4.RI.4, 4.RI.10, 4.SL.1, 4.SL.4, 4.SL.5, 4.W.4, 4.W.10
State Standards:
AZ Science Standards - SC04-S1C1: 1-4, SC04-S1C2;1&4, SC04-S1C3-04; SC04-S1C4-01;1&3, SC04-S2C1-02, SC04-S2C2,SC04-S3C1-01, SC04-S4C1-02, SC04-S4C2, SC04-S6C3-01, SC04-S6C3-03.

See lesson plan document for NM benchmark standards.


This field trip can be conducted for 3-5th grade classes however only 4th grade classes are eligible for the NPF grant funds which include the free snacks. Please inquire about other travel grant funding that might be available.

For the second year in a row Petrified Forest National Park has received an Every Kid in a Park field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. During April and May of 2016 almost 400 4th grade students participated in the park's new Student Phenology with Outdoor Citizens (S.P.O.C.) program. We hope to share this wonderful outdoor classroom with many more students between October, 2016 and May, 2017. 

4th grade classes who are approved for the grant funds will receive a reimbursement of transportation funds for a ranger guided program along the 1-mile Rim Trail overlooking the Painted Desert. Students will record observations of lizards, phenology of plants, and park soundscapes as well as receiving healthy snacks. Pre- and Post-visit lessons will be provided and completed before the park visit.

This program takes a hands-on approach to learning where students make real time observations, collecting data that contributes to the long term ecological research of the park. As the climate continues to change it is becoming increasingly important for resource managers to learn how these changes are affecting the plants and animals that live in our national parks. This is important not only for the future of the organisms being studied but for future park planning and visitor experience. Citizen science programs with students encourage the next generation of park stewards to take an active role in preserving their shared heritage and expose students to the scientific approaches that are being used today. 


To request this program please contact the education program coordinator at least three weeks before your visit. 

Phone: (928) 524-6228 ext.264




This document contains the background information and lesson plans necessary for this field trip.

Download Pre and Post-visit Lessons

This is the application form for 4th Grade classes to request this field trip with the NPF grant.

Download 4th Grade Grant Application

Last updated: September 9, 2017