Educational Field Trips

Five Rivers MetroParks offers a wealth of on-site educational programs for area school groups.

Five Rivers MetroParks offers a wealth of on-site educational programs for area school groups.

These programs are adaptable to a multidisciplinary curriculum and encourage students to get outside and build a long-term connection with nature.

All school, commercial or nonprofit groups of 10 or more are required to schedule their park visit.  Please call us  a minimum of 3 to 4 weeks in advance at (937) 275-7275. Teachers and other educators of all subjects and grade levels who would like to learn how to integrate environmental topics into their curriculum can participate in the many programs offered throughout the MetroParks — ask us how.

Science

Pond Study

Discover the unusual creatures that live in the pond while learning about the life cycles and survival of macro-invertebrates. We will also explore pond ecology. Students will use dip nets to explore the pond. All specimens will be released. Available April-October.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5

Program length: 1.5-2 hours

Recommended group size: 20/naturalist, 10 person minimum

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the life cycles of insects
  • Explain how humans directly impact the type of life found in ponds
  • Explain the needs of living organisms.
Discovering Soil

Students will get their hands dirty digging and examining soil while learning what makes it so important. Classes will be divided into groups of 15 or less to participate in 40 minutes of guided activities. Printable activities are provided to help students explore the Children’s Discovery Garden. Available Wed.-Fri.: April 1 to May 31, Wed.–Fri.: Sept 1 to Nov 1.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5

Program length: 1.5-2 hours

Recommended group size: 10-60 students

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify and explain the components found in a handful of garden soil
  • Compare and contrast soils from different areas around the country
  • With assistance, conduct a series of tests to determine soil health. (includes texture, water holding capacity and/or nutrient tests)
Ecology Hike

Discover ways that animals and plants are dependent on each other while searching for critters and exploring park features. We will play nature games to help illustrate ecological concepts and processes, as well as discuss how humans impact the environment and what students can do to help. Available year round.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5

Program length: 1.5 hours

Recommended group size: 20 per naturalist

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Use their sense of smell, touch, sight, and hearing to explore their environment
  • Explain 3 ways how humans have changed their environment
  • Explain 3 ways in which animals and plants are dependent on each other.
Butterfly House

Who doesn’t love the Butterfly? Students will get up close to this elusive pollinator in our popular summer exhibit. Availability is limited so sign up early. Available July-mid September.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12

Program length: 20-30 minutes

Recommended group size: 15 students

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the phases of complete metamorphosis
  • Name 4 native butterflies or moths
  • Use observation skills to discover butterflies at all stages of their metamorphosis
Buds ‘N’ Blooms

This hands-on program will introduce your students to the most popular part of the plant, the flower. Students explore flowers, their function and their pollinators. Available in Spring only.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8

Program length: 2 hours

Recommended group size: Up to 100 students

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Understand how plants attract pollinators through color, scent and shape
  • Identify the different parts of a flower and understand their functions
  • Recognize that flowers come in a variety of colors and shapes
Discover Fall Trees

During the cool days of fall, students will learn about trees and their needs. Discover how nature prepares for cold Dayton winters during this hands-on tour of the natural areas and gardens. Available in Fall only.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8

Program length: 2 hours

Recommended group size: Up to 100 students

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify some Dayton trees using leaf shapes (aim for five different trees)
  • Name at least two ways in which seeds travel
  • Name at least 3 ways in which nature prepares for winter
  • Take part in Project Budburst through data collection, and contribute to research about local trees preparing for winter
Discovery Tour

Blue Herons in the Shrub Garden Pond, the wildlife biologist doing a fish study, toads and frogs leaving their watery nursery for dry land in Conservation Corner, leaf color…nature surprises us daily. The Discovery Tour is a hands-on way to take advantage of that magic. Students will use their senses to learn how to observe nature scientifically. Available in Spring and Fall.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2

Program length: 1.5-2 hours

Recommended group size: Up to 100 students

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Use their sense of smell, touch, sight and hearing to make discoveries in nature
  • Name a variety of habitats within the Arboretum
  • Explain how the seasons affect nature
How Plants Grow

Investigate the lifecycle of a plant from seed to bloom. Students will journey through the Arboretum gardens and natural areas studying plants – their lifecycle, their needs and environment. Students will plant a seed to watch the lifecycle unfurl in their own classroom. Available in Spring only.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8

Program length: 2 hours

Recommended group size: Up to 100 students

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Name at least two needs of plants
  • Describe the lifecycle of a plant
  • Describe the lifecycle of a plant
Living Forest Tour

Nothing is stagnant in nature. Students will explore the Arboretum looking for examples of how Dayton’s natural areas change over time. They will explore a variety of natural habitats common in Dayton and the types of life that survive in these habitats. Available in Spring only.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8

Program length: 2 hours

Recommended group size: Up to 100 students

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Recognize that change is a natural process
  • Recognize that habitats change naturally and by human influence
  • Give examples of how humans change natural habitats
  • Explain 3 ways in which animals and plants are dependant on each other
  • Take part in Project Budburst through data collection, and contribute to research about local plants
Guided Farm & Nature Trail Walk

Explore and learn about Possum Creek MetroPark’s varied habitats through a walk on the trails. Visit and make observations of a meadow, woods, prairie patch, small stream, small pond, and a bird observation area. Available April-October.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2

Program length: 1 hour

Recommended group size: 20 per tour guide

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of the unity and diversity of the natural world
  • Use the sense of touch, smell, sight, and hearing to discover their natural world
  • Learn about a variety of habitats
Self-Guided Farm & Nature Trail

Learn about farms and habitats while exploring Possum Creek MetroPark’s farm and nature trail. Receive informational material about the farm and nature trail. Available April-October.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2

Program length: 1-1.5 hours

Recommended group size: Most group sizes can be accommodated

Parks where available:

Fossil Study

Come learn about what life was like in our area during the Ordovician Period! Explore fossil-bearing rock areas and find fossils in and around fossil creek to get a glimpse of what lived here 500 million years ago, while observing a time line of what else was going on in other parts of the world during that time. Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet! Available April-October.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12

Program length: 1.5-2 hours

Recommended group size: 25/naturalist. 10 person minimum

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify important events on a geologic timeline of the History of the Earth, including the Ordovician period, present day, major extinction events, etc.
  • Identify and understand the different types of fossils they can find, and understand that these were real, living creatures, but now are no longer living.
  • Identify types of fossils found, what those creatures looked like during the Ordovician period, creatures related to them today, and why they are no longer living in our area.
Ohio Wildlife

Come out to the Twin Valley Welcome Center to get a well-rounded snapshot of what’s wild in Ohio. Experience some of our native reptiles and birds up close during a life animal presentation, then go out look for wildlife while exploring the many features of Germantown Metropark on a nature hike! Finish off your adventure by taking a look at the aquatic habitat of a pond, using a net, to examine the ecology of a pond. Wear clothes and shoes that can get wet and muddy! Available year round.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5

Program length: 2 hours

Recommended group size: 25 per naturalist, 60 person maximum

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify at least 3 native mammals, 3 native birds, 3 native reptiles, and 3 trees of Ohio
  • Recognize the difference between wild and domesticated animals, and understand that animals in captivity are still wild animals and not pets.
  • Understand how organisms are connected and dependent on each other to survive by explaining a simple food web.
  • Identify at least one thing they do that effects the environment, and tell if there are positive or negative consequences for wildlife.
  • Identify micro invertebrates in an aquatic habitat and understand their life cycle.
Insect Investigation

This program begins with a 30-minute introduction to insects, where we explore basic physiology, characteristics, metamorphosis, and ecology. Afterwards, we’ll travel through various habitats with nets, searching for insects in their environment. All insects will be released. Available April-October.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8

Program length: 1.5 hours

Recommended group size: 20 per naturalist

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the lifecycle of insects
  • Compare body parts of insects and explain how they are used
  • Explain the needs of living organisms
Skeeter’s Gardeners

Students will learn about plant growth and where food comes from while exploring Skeeter’s Garden. Classes will be divided into groups of 15 or less to participate in a 30-40 minute guided activity. Printable activities are provided help students explore the Children’s Discovery Garden. Available April-May and September-November.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5

Program length: 1.5-2 hours

Days Offered: Wed.-Fri.: April-May and Sept.-Nov.

Recommended group size: 10-60 students

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify at least 3 native mammals, 3 native birds, 3 native reptiles, and 3 trees of Ohio
  • Recognize the difference between wild and domesticated animals, and understand that animals in captivity are still wild animals and not pets.
  • Understand how organisms are connected and dependent on each other to survive by explaining a simple food web.
  • Identify at least one thing they do that effects the environment, and tell if there are positive or negative consequences for wildlife.
  • Identify micro invertebrates in an aquatic habitat and understand their life cycle.
Stream Study

Enjoy an educational hike through a stream, where we will explore fossils, catch crawdads, study insects, and look for frogs and salamanders!  Together we will measure water quality, discuss what factors affect our streams, and what we can do to clean up our water! Wear shoes that can get wet or muddy! Available April-October.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8

Program length: 1.5-2 hours

Recommended group size: 20/naturalist, 10 person minimum

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Use their sense of smell, touch, sight, and hearing to explore their environment
  • Explain how humans directly impact the type of life found in streams
  • Identify 3 types of fossils
Guided Farm Tour

Teachers and students will observe the farm animals while learning about the importance of farms to each of us. Discover the source of what we eat and drink, as well as the other uses of farm products. Available April-October.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2

Program length: 30-45 minutes

Recommended group size: 20 per tour guide

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Use their sense of touch, sight, smell, and hearing to explore the farm.
  • Explain that food comes from sources other than the grocery stores.
  • Explain that all living things need food, water, air, living space, shelter, and light to survive.
Butterflies and Bees

Pollinators are all around us, and are great ways for students to learn about lifecycles, wildlife needs, and hone their observation skills. Classes will also take part in a citizen science project that can be continued back at school. Availability is limited so sign up early. Available August-October.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2

Program length: 2-2.5 hours

Recommended group size: Up to 65 students

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Understand what a pollinator is and what they do.
  • Explain and identify the phases of complete metamorphosis using butterflies.
  • Identify the needs of pollinators, specifically butterflies.
  • Record pollinator species seen for the Great Sunflower Project.
  • Identify at least one thing students can do to help the environment

Social Studies

Children's Interactive Classroom

Children are given the opportunity to explore different aspects of life in the 1880s on their own level. A recreated house, barn and school room provide ample opportunity to learn through a hands-on approach. Group leaders will be provided with educational materials and artifacts to use for a self-guided experience. Program may be paired with a self-guided experience as well. Available April-November (available 10 a.m.-noon).

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Early Childhood

Program Length: 45 minutes

Recommended Group Size: Maximum of 30 children and 3 adults at one time.

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Experience elements of 1880s farm life in a hands-on approach
  • Learn tasks and information in the same methods as children in the 19th century
  • Gain a better appreciation for history through interaction
Ecology Hike

Discover ways that animals and plants are dependent on each other while searching for critters and exploring park features. We will play nature games to help illustrate ecological concepts and processes, as well as discuss how humans impact the environment and what students can do to help. Available year round.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5

Program length: 1.5 hours

Recommended group size: 20 per naturalist

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Use their sense of smell, touch, sight, and hearing to explore their environment
  • Explain 3 ways how humans have changed their environment
  • Explain 3 ways in which animals and plants are dependent on each other.
Self-Guided Farm Tour: A Walk Through History

Students will be able to learn more about Carriage Hill MetroPark and its history by touring the Visitor Center and watching a 7 ½ minute video told through a child’s perspective. Afterwards, groups will be provided with written information to guide them throughout the historic farm site. A tour through the Daniel Arnold Home will be given by a living historian who will also be conducting hands-on historical demonstrations. Available April 1 – Oct. 31.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12

Program length: 1.5-2 hours,

Times Offered: 10 AM-12 PM and 1:30-3 PM

Recommended group size: Most group sizes can be accommodated

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Gain an overall understanding of life in the 1880s.
  • Discover the various ways that farmers sustained themselves and their families.
  • Learn the basic principles of farming.
  • Use their senses to learn history in a tangible way.
Ohio Wildlife

Come out to the Twin Valley Welcome Center to get a well-rounded snapshot of what’s wild in Ohio. Experience some of our native reptiles and birds up close during a life animal presentation, then go out look for wildlife while exploring the many features of Germantown Metropark on a nature hike! Finish off your adventure by taking a look at the aquatic habitat of a pond, using a net, to examine the ecology of a pond. Wear clothes and shoes that can get wet and muddy! Available year round.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5

Program length: 2 hours

Recommended group size: 25 per naturalist, 60 person maximum

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify at least 3 native mammals, 3 native birds, 3 native reptiles, and 3 trees of Ohio
  • Recognize the difference between wild and domesticated animals, and understand that animals in captivity are still wild animals and not pets.
  • Understand how organisms are connected and dependent on each other to survive by explaining a simple food web.
  • Identify at least one thing they do that effects the environment, and tell if there are positive or negative consequences for wildlife.
  • Identify micro invertebrates in an aquatic habitat and understand their life cycle.
Stream Study

Enjoy an educational hike through a stream, where we will explore fossils, catch crawdads, study insects, and look for frogs and salamanders!  Together we will measure water quality, discuss what factors affect our streams, and what we can do to clean up our water! Wear shoes that can get wet or muddy! Available April-October.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8

Program length: 1.5-2 hours

Recommended group size: 20/naturalist, 10 person minimum

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Use their sense of smell, touch, sight, and hearing to explore their environment
  • Explain how humans directly impact the type of life found in streams
  • Identify 3 types of fossils
Self-Guided Farm Tour: Hands On History

Students will be able to learn more about Carriage Hill and its history by touring the Visitor Center and watching a 7 ½ minute video told through a child’s perspective. Afterwards, groups will be provided with written information to guide them throughout the historic farm site. Throughout the farm site will be various “hands-on” stops where the teacher will be able to provide more information through handling various artifacts and items. A tour through the Daniel Arnold Home will be given by a living historian who will also be conducting hands-on historical demonstrations. Available April 1 – Oct. 31.

Target Grades
  • Early Childhood
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12

Program length: 1.5-2 hours,

Times Offered: 10 AM-12 PM and 1:30-3 PM

Recommended group size: Most group sizes can be accommodated.

Parks where available:

Times available: Available limited weekdays during spring and fall, call to inquire; 10 AM – 12 PM.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Gain an overall understanding of life in the 1880s.
  • Discover the various ways that farmers sustained themselves and their families.
  • Learn the basic principles of farming.
  • Use their senses to learn history in a tangible way.
Harvesting Our Heritage: Guided Farm Tour

This activity is an immersion type program that allows absolute hands-on activities for students. A guided tour of the historic area will be provided, highlighting the various sustainable aspects of farm life. Afterwards, groups will be able to pick a hands-on activity followed by self-guided exploration time.
Choose one activity from the following list (20 minutes in length):

  • Historic Tableaux (A historic game similar to charades, where the children act out famous scenes)
  • Rope-Making (Demonstration of a historic craft. Limited to 30 children)
  • Reading a short story from a historical magazine (topic is farming or 19th century life)
  • Historic Chores (small groups will sweep, dust, clean cobwebs, fill wood boxes, beat rugs and other chores)

Available April 1 – May 31 and Sept. 1 – Oct. 31.

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12

Program length: 1.5-2 hours

Times Offered: 10 AM-12 PM and 1:30-3 PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays only.

Recommended group size: Tour is limited to 60 children total. All groups larger than thirty must split into two groups.

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Learn different aspects of everyday life in the 1880s.
  • Discover the various ways that farmers sustained themselves and their families.
  • Perform a hands-on period process.
  • Further understand the lives of a farm family and it context in the community.

English Language Arts

Children's Interactive Classroom

Children are given the opportunity to explore different aspects of life in the 1880s on their own level. A recreated house, barn and school room provide ample opportunity to learn through a hands-on approach. Group leaders will be provided with educational materials and artifacts to use for a self-guided experience. Program may be paired with a self-guided experience as well. Available April-November (available 10 a.m.-noon).

Target Grades
  • K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Early Childhood

Program Length: 45 minutes

Recommended Group Size: Maximum of 30 children and 3 adults at one time.

Parks where available:

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Experience elements of 1880s farm life in a hands-on approach
  • Learn tasks and information in the same methods as children in the 19th century
  • Gain a better appreciation for history through interaction

Stay Updated!

We Want Your Feedback!

  • Please add any comments you have for improving the website. We welcome suggestions on specific areas for improvements, features you would like to see added to the site, and examples of what you consider good websites.