Educational Field Trips

Educational support for local schools and teachers with virtual options.

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.

For updates on all the latest news related to educational resources from Five Rivers MetroParks, please join the Five Rivers MetroParks’ Teacher Community Facebook group. The group connects a community of local educators, and offers resources and helpful articles, while providing the ability to ask questions and more.

Field Trip Topics

Historic Farm Visit

Students will be able to learn more about Carriage Hill MetroPark and its history by touring the Visitor Center. 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 history interpreter who will also be conducting hands-on historical demonstrations.

Availability: Tuesday and Thursday, 10am-12pm and 1-3pm: April 1-Oct 31
Target Grades:  K-2, 3-5, 6
Program Length: 1 hour
Group Size (recommended): 10-60 students. Groups will be split into smaller groups of 20 to tour the house
Park: Carriage Hill

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.

Growing Gardeners

Students will learn about plant growth, the benefit of plant relationships in the garden and the important work of pollinators while exploring the vegetable garden. Classes will be divided into groups to participate in station-based activities. Printable activities are provided help students explore the Children’s Discovery Garden.

Availability: Wednesday and Thursday: May 1-mid-September
Target Grades: K-2, 3-5
Program Length: 45 min-1 hr 15 minutes
Group Size (recommended): 10-50 students
Park: Wegerzyn

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Understand what plants need to grow and plant their own seed to observe in the classroom
  • Explore how certain plants can benefit other plants in the garden (companion planting)
  • Understand the importance of pollinators and what you can do to attract them to your garden

Discovering Soil

Students will get their hands dirty digging and examining soil, learning what makes it so important and how composting is a great way to keep our soil thriving. Classes will be divided into groups to participate in station-based activities. Printable activities are provided to help students explore the Children’s Discovery Garden.

Availability: Wednesday and Thursday: April 1-Oct 31
Target Grades: K-2, 3-5
Program Length: 45 min-1 hr 15 minutes
Group Size (recommended): 10-50 students
Park: Wegerzyn

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Identify and explain the components found in a handful of garden soil
  • With assistance, conduct a series of tests to determine soil health. (includes texture, water holding capacity and/or nutrient tests)
  • Explore how composting helps recycle valuable nutrients and keep usable waste out of the landfill

Self-Guided Farm and Nature Trail

Learn about farms and habitats while exploring Possum Creek MetroPark’s farm, gardens, trail and nature play. Teachers will receive a map and general information via email and can explore with their students at their own pace.

Availability: Tuesday- Friday: April 1-October 31
Target Grades: early childhood, K-2
Program Length: 1-1.5 hours
Group Size (recommended): 10-60 students, groups will be split into smaller groups of 15 to tour the park
Park: Possum Creek

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
  • Experience a variety of habitats

Stream Study

Explore crawdads, salamanders, frogs, and macro-invertebrates that call the stream home and the unique role each play in the stream ecosystem. Students will use nets to catch and get closer looks at creatures and use a biotic index to determine the health of the stream as they come to understand their survival and health is directly related to the health and cleanliness of the stream. Wear close-toed shoes that can get wet and muddy.

Availability: April-June, August-October
Target Grades: K-3; 5-7; 9-12
Program Length: 1.5-2 hours
Group Size (recommended): 10-80 students, split into smaller groups
Park: Sugarcreek

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Use their sense of smell, touch, sight, and hearing to explore their environment
  • Identify three common stream creatures
  • Explain humans place in the water cycle and how we directly impact the life found in the streams.
  • Explain how the quality of a stream can be determined by the animals found in it.

Discover Fall Trees

Fall is a season of change, so why not change things up in the classroom and get your students outside exploring the brightly colored forest! Students will get to know some of Ohio’s native trees while exploring what trees need to survive, how seeds move, and the change that occurs as nature prepares for winter.

Availability: August – October
Target Grades: K-3; 5-7
Program Length: 1.5-2 hours
Group Size (recommended): 10-80 students, split into smaller groups
Park: Cox Arboretum

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Identify what trees need to survive
  • Explain at least two ways that seeds move
  • Identify at least two Ohio trees by either leaf shape or bark
  • Understand that nature undergoes cyclical changes throughout the year

Butterflies and Bees

Let your students’ learning take flight as they explore some of our most common pollinators, butterflies and bees. Students will learn about needs of pollinators, their lifecycles, and the unique plant relationships required for their survival.

Availability: April-June, August-October
Target Grades: K-5
Program Length: 1-1.5 hours
Group Size (recommended): 10-60 students, split into smaller groups
Park: Cox Arboretum

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Understand what a pollinator is and what they do
  • Describe the lifecycle of a butterfly or moth
  • Identify the needs of living things
  • Understand how plants attract pollinators through things such as flower color, scent, and shape.
  • Identify at least one thing they can do to help pollinators

Ecology Hike

Students will explore plant and animal interactions through close observation in real-world habitats. Students will learn how species are dependent on each other, and where humans fit within the ecological puzzle of the Miami Valley.

Availability: April-June, August-October
Target Grades: K-5; 9-12
Program Length: 1-2 hours
Group Size (recommended): 10-80 students, split into smaller groups
Park: Cox Arboretum, Sugarcreek

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Explain and give examples of different relationships between organisms
  • Explain three ways in which animals and plants are dependent on each other
  • Identify at least one way they can have a positive impact on the environment

Self-Guided Habitat Exploration

Explore a variety of habitats as you engage your students in your own Ordovician Expedition, Aquatic Study, or Pollinator Adventure. When you schedule your field trip you will receive an email with a self-guided field trip packet that contains detailed information, resources and videos of our naturalists to help you prepare for your field trip. Additionally, you will be given access to an onsite lockbox containing insect nets, aquatic dip nets, containers, and a variety of exploration tools to enhance your students’ experience.

Availability: April-June, August-October
Target Grades: K-3; 5-7
Program Length: 1-2 hours
Group Size (recommended): 10-80 students, split into smaller groups
Park: Germantown, Englewood

Objectives: Dependent on teacher.

Virtual Field Trip Topics

The educational staff at Five Rivers MetroParks are excited to help your students safely experience the outdoors, whether at their homes or at your school. MetroParks offers pre-recorded virtual field trip content. Whether in your own classroom or Google Classroom, it’s easy for you to fit these programs into your curriculum. You can also schedule live Q&A sessions with MetroParks representatives to enhance your adventures.

Geology and Fossils

Geology ROCKS! It is the foundation for all life on Earth! Join a naturalist and explore the fossils beneath your feet! We will discuss what fossils are, how they are made, the types we find around Dayton, Ohio, and where to find them. Students will want to get outside and start a fossil collection of their own after this field trip! Teachers are welcome to schedule a live question and answer session with a naturalist as a part of this program.

Fossil Quest (grades 1, 2, 4 & 8)
Virtually visit Cox Arboretum MetroPark to learn about the Ordovician fossils found in the Dayton area. We’ll explore what fossils are, how they are created, which fossils you can find and where to look for them. Students will leave wanting to head outside and create a fossil collection of their own. This field trip includes a free field trip kit, while supplies last!

View Fossil Quest details

Habitat Exploration and Ecology

Nature surrounds us, is within us, and sustains us. It is clean air, water, soil, and biodiversity that makes human life possible. Here you will find programs that highlight engaging, biodiverse habitats throughout MetroParks, that also challenge students to get out exploring on their own. Students will engage with their local nature, whether it is their schoolyard, local park, backyard, or balcony! The assignments below can be used in an in-person classroom with your green schoolyard, or in a virtual classroom.

Butterflies & Bees (grades K, 1 & 3)
This immersive field trip all about local pollinators provides relevant, real-world opportunities for students to learn about lifecycles, wildlife needs and our connections to wildlife. Students will go outside to observe and explore pollinators at school and at home, help professional scientists by contributing to a citizen science project, and improve pollinator habitats around them. This field trip includes a free field trip kit, while supplies last!

View Butterflies and Bees details

Hike in the Forest (grades K-3)
Join us for a hike in the forest with MetroParks’ naturalists to explore common plants and animals, dissect an owl pellet, and start a nature journal. Students will be encouraged to explore forests close to home and report their observations. Afterward, students will be itching to begin their own adventure with family and friends.

View Hike in A Forest details

Stream Study (grades K-3, 5 & 7)
Head to the creek with MetroParks’ naturalists and discover all the life under the water’s surface. Our local creeks are fun places to play and home to many small fish, crawdads and countless macro-invertebrates that tell us if the creek is clean or dirty. Students will go outside to a local creek while interacting with Flipgrid responses.

View Stream Study details

 

Gardening, Homesteading, and Sustainability

We are healthy and happy thanks to farms and gardens! Not only do they meet our physical needs, they give us space to appreciate beauty, look closely at form and function, and understand our connection to plants and animals. Discover how working farms meet our needs for nutritious food, products for clothing and shelter, and how they have changed as our way of life has changed over time. Explore the life of a special Oak tree on the grounds of Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark: uncover how it benefits from its habitat, contributes to the health of the plants and animals around it (including humans), and be amazed by events the tree has “witnessed” during its long life. Younger students are invited to journey through the garden exploring colors, shapes and patterns in the garden and the larger natural world, including inspiration and ideas for their own nature art.

Life of Our Pedestal Oak (grades 3-5)
Students will “meet” our Pedestal Oak at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark and make scientific and historical connections with this great old tree and the many lessons it can share. We’ll explore the lifecycle, learn how it benefits the plants and animals surrounding it, and investigate the unique pedestal shape of our oak. Students will use a visual timeline highlighting important local and Ohio historical events that have happened during the life of the Pedestal Oak.

View Life of Our Pedestal Oak details

Art in the Garden (grade K)
Students will explore colors, shapes and patterns in the garden and the natural world. We’ll uncover why green is so important in nature, how plants use color and shape to attract insects, look for patterns, and make other discoveries. Students will use the examples and ideas shared to create their own nature art.

View Art in Nature details

Butterflies & Bees (grades K, 1 & 3)
This immersive field trip all about local pollinators provides relevant, real-world opportunities for students to learn about lifecycles, wildlife needs and our connections to wildlife. Students will go outside to observe and explore pollinators at school and at home, help professional scientists by contributing to a citizen science project, and improve pollinator habitats around them. This field trip includes a free field trip kit, while supplies last!

View Butterflies and Bees details

Lola Plants A Garden Activity Series (Pre-K)
Join us for this immersive field trip where we learn about Lola and her journey in planting a garden. Students will go through hands on activities, learning through dialogic reading, music and movement, art and crafts, and other hands on activities. This field trip touches on gardening and how we can plant seeds and help them grow.

View Activity Series details

Mindfulness

Classroom Nature Breaks – SEL (grades K-5)
Take time to relax and feel our connections with the natural world. From meditating by a stream, watching animals, experiencing the wind and practicing yoga, your students will explore their connections with the natural world while learning more about themselves. Resources allow teachers to use nature to help students regulate emotional control, grow empathy for other living things and ultimately learn how to respect other human beings.

View Classroom Nature Breaks – SEL details

 

Carriage Hill Farm Living History

Life in the 1880s (grades K-6)
Virtually visit Carriage Hill MetroPark’s historical farm to explore what life was like for the Arnold family in the 1880s in Dayton. Students will learn about life on a farm, the farm animals, and such skills as blacksmithing and woodworking. Students will see how modern life compares with life 140 years ago.

View Life in the 1880s details

Quick Reference Guide
Grade Topic Virtual Field Trips Available Standards Covered
Kindergarten Gardening, Homesteading and Sustainability Art in Nature Life Science
Habitat Exploration and Ecology Butterflies and Bees
Hike in A Forest
Stream Study
Life Science

Social Studies: History Strand

Social Studies: Government Strand

Carriage Hill Farm Living History Life in the 1880s Social Studies: History Strand
Mindfulness Classroom Nature Breaks – SEL Social and Emotional Objectives
Grade 1 Geology and Fossils Fossil Quest Life Science
Habitat Exploration and Ecology Butterflies and Bees Life Science

Social Studies: Government Strand

Hike in A Forest Life Science

Social Studies: Geography Strand

Stream Study Earth and Space Science

Life Science

Social Studies: History Strand

Social Studies: Government Strand

Carriage Hill Farm Living History Life in the 1880s Social Studies: History Strand
Mindfulness Classroom Nature Breaks – SEL Social and Emotional Objectives
Grade 2 Geology and Fossils Fossil Quest Life Science

Social Studies: History Strand

Social Studies: Government Strand

Habitat Exploration and Ecology Hike in A Forest Life Science

Social Studies: History Strand

Social Studies: Government Strand

Stream Study Earth and Space Science

Life Science

Social Studies: History Strand

Social Studies: Government Strand

Carriage Hill Farm Living History Life in the 1880s Social Studies: History Strand
Mindfulness Classroom Nature Breaks – SEL Social and Emotional Objectives
Grade 3 Habitat Exploration and Ecology Butterflies and Bees Life Science

Social Studies: History Strand

Social Studies: Government Strand

Hike in A Forest
Stream Study
Life Science

Social Studies: Geography Strand

Carriage Hill Farm Living History Life in the 1880s Social Studies: Geography Strand
Gardening, Homesteading, and Sustainability Life of Our Pedestal Oak Life Science

Social Studies: History Strand

Mindfulness Classroom Nature Breaks – SEL Social and Emotional Objectives
Grade 4 Geology and Fossils Fossil Quest Earth and Space Science

Life Science

Social Studies: History Strand

Carriage Hill Farm Living History Life in the 1880s Social Studies: History Strand
Gardening, Homesteading, and Sustainability Life of Our Pedestal Oak Life Science

Social Studies: History Strand

Social Studies: Geography Strand

Mindfulness Classroom Nature Breaks – SEL Social and Emotional Objectives
Grade 5 Carriage Hill Farm Living History Life in the 1880s Social Studies: Geography Strand
Gardening, Homesteading, and Sustainability Life of Our Pedestal Oak Life Science
Mindfulness Classroom Nature Breaks – SEL Social and Emotional Objectives
Habitat Exploration and Ecology Stream Study Life Science

Social Studies: Geography Strand

Social Studies: Economic Strand

Grade 6 Carriage Hill Farm Living History Life in the 1880s Social Studies: Geography Strand
Grade 7 Habitat Exploration and Ecology Stream Study Earth and Space Science

Life Science

Social Studies: Government Strand

Grade 8 Geology and Fossils Fossil Quest Earth and Space Science

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