4th Grade Program Overview

Classes arrive around 9am. Students explore the building to view a variety of interesting specimens and aquaria. The class will then sit down for a question and answer session about what is in the building and what can be expected of the day’s schedule. Students participate in an activity using a beaver to understand structures and functions - the theme for the day. The class is then divided into two smaller groups for the following activities:

Half the class participates in long hike with the environmental education specialist focusing on the ecosystem around the lake. This includes identifying plants, animals, and animal signs that are found along the trail. Students are provided binoculars, clipboards, and field guides to explore the environment along the trail. A visit to a creek will include an opportunity to sample creek organisms. Classes will see what they can catch in dip nets to view for identification and further study of this ecosystem.

The other half of the class stays at the study center for teacher led hands-on activities. The activities include a closer look at the structures and functions of five different Arkansas native mammals - this includes handling skull, skat, fur, and track replicas! Then students participate in a a laboratoryactivity where each student gets to use their own stereo microscope to observe various plants and animals, record what they see, and ask questions to discover why the specimen may look the way it does.

After the morning activities students eat lunch together on the outside patio (weather permitting) and have a short recess before switching activities for the afternoon so all students hike and participate in the study center/lab activities. The day wraps up with an opportunity for students to share what they found interesting during the day and time for a reflective writing activity. Students load the bus to return to school at 2pm.