Shaw Nature Reserve Field Trip | Fall 2018
Each year, our third and fourth grade classes participate in an overnight excursion to Shaw Nature Reserve. For students, the trip is an opportunity to gain hands-on, in-the-field experience. For our science teachers – Ann Luciani (3rd & 4th grades) and Erik Taylor (5th & 6th grades), this is a great opportunity to educate beyond the classroom.
On the first half day, students spend time on the prairie learning to identify prairie flowers, trees, the properties of plants, and the catching and releasing of monarchs. On day two, students spend time in the forest glade, identifying different organisms that live in the prairie compared to the forest.
The curriculum taught at Shaw follows the Missouri Department of Conservation’s curriculum course, which Ann and Erik both follow. The course covers biology, ecology, and ecosystems. City Academy third and fourth grade students study these subjects before embarking on the trip.
In Ann’s classroom, students raise their own monarchs from babies to adults! Scholars eventually tag and release the monarchs, just as practicing scientist do in the field. The curriculum taught in the classroom comes full circle as students experienced catching wild monarchs at Shaw Nature Reserve.
“The overnight trip to Shaw Nature is a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience science in the real-world,” says Ann Luciani, 3rd & 4th Grade Science Teacher. “Our students better understand what we’re teaching in the classroom after experiencing science in nature. Plus, the trip allows students to ask questions, make observations, and experience in-the-field learning.”