We went to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago last week to take a class on habitats and to explore the exhibits. This is the second year in a row I have done this field trip and it is by far the easiest and best field trip I have taken! The museum is so organized and calm - it makes something stressful, very enjoyable! During the class my students explored and wrote observations in three different habitats - a prairie, a wetland, and a woodland habitat. The museum supplied us with journals, clipboards, and pencils. Here are some pics of the trip:
Our museum educator, Ms. D talking to the students about the woodland habitat
A student making observations about the woodland habitat.
How cute is he!
Ms. D is holding up a "pea pod" leave, explaining to students how squirrels get their food in the woodland habitat.
Look how close she got to the squirrel - it was pretty amazing. I was a little freaked out, but the kids thought it was so cool!
Here are some kids touching a snake - they were so surprised about how "squishy" the snake felt - we all thought a snake's body would feel much harder than it did.
The butterfly room at the museum is incredible. It's a room literally covered with butterflies, flying everywhere. Some kids were a little nervous the butterflies would land on them, but it's so cool to be so close to them. It was also a good opportunity to talk about what an appropriate habitat for a butterfly is and to review the life cycle of a butterfly.
When we got back from the museum, I gave my students some time to journal about what they learned. I thought I would give them 5-10 minutes at the most, but when I tried to stop them, they begged for more time. They ended up journaling for at least 15 minutes - SILENTLY - and some still didn't finish (but we had to move on). It was so fun to see them so excited to write and share what they learned. I am excited to keep the habitat unit going this week!