Field Trip Opportunities


“The Salamander Room”- Year Round

Based on the book by the same name, this is an interactive program where students help transform a child’s bedroom into a suitable habitat for a salamander. As we progress through the book, students add elements to our “bedroom” to recreate the vision from the book. This program can be done as a field trip visit to the BCCD or as an in-school program, where we come to you. Field trips include a nature walk and a visit with our very own live salamander, “Tigger”. This program addresses Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (2.A.ECa, 2.B.ECa, 2.B.ECb, 2.D.ECa, 12.B.ECa, 12.B.ECb, 13.B.ECa).

Program Flyer      Coloring Page    Learn cool facts about salamanders by watching this video for Jr. Mojo (2:08)


Kindergarten programs are designed to fit your needs. They can be field trips to BCCD sites or in-school visits by a member of our staff. Field trips are typically 2 – 2.5 hours and in-school visits usually 45 minutes to an hour. The cost is $2 / student for Boone County schools and $4 per student for out-of-county schools.

Suggested topics include: Roly Poly Pill Bugs, The ABC’s of Nature, Recycling. Our preschool program, “The Salamander Room,” would also be appropriate for Kindergarten.

Nature Coloring Book

Post Visit – It’s Alive and I Know Why!

First Grade

“Magic of Winter”- January through February

In this program, students become scientists and explorers as they learn what makes winter unique. The morning is spent learning about weather, measuring temperature and wind speed and doing some outdoor activities. Over the lunch period students have the opportunity to explore the Nature Center. In the afternoon, students learn what different animals do in the winter and the signs they leave, before venturing out to investigate. Each student receives a journal in which to record the day’s adventures.

Download 1st Grade Teacher PacketDownload 1st Grade Teacher Packet – Spanish

Click here to show your students a video about how to dress for this winter field trip

Second Grade

“Springtime in Spencer” – April through May

Students become explorers for a day as they learn the differences between mammals and birds, reptiles and amphibians, and insects and arachnids. After becoming an “expert” in these animal groups, we head outside to find as many of them (or at least as much evidence) as we can while hiking and playing games through woods, wetlands and prairie. Students also make a craft representative of one of the described animal groups.

Download 2nd Grade Teacher Packet    Download 2nd Grade Teacher Package – Spanish

Food Chain Classroom Activity

“Animal Classification” – April & May

Animals Got Class! – In-School Classroom Visit

This is an in-school program and is 1.5 hours in length.  Our second-grade program focuses on what makes amphibians, reptiles, mammals, insects, arachnids, and birds different. After hands-on learning and discussion, the students will get to meet several of our live animal ambassadors!

Second Grade Flyer

Download Teacher PacketDownload Teacher Packet – Spanish

Third Grade

“Habitats are Homes” – April through May

For this program, students learn what components make up a habitat and how important each component is. Scavenger hunts and games help to focus students on each of our four habitats—woods, wetlands, prairie and dead logs, as well as how human activity impacts habitat quality. After lunch we make a habitat-related craft and do some more exploring.

Download 3rd Grade Teacher PacketDownload 3rd Grade Teacher Packet – Spanish

“Habitat in a Backpack”

Designed for 3rd graders, Habitat in a Backpack is an interactive set of activities that helps students learn about the habitats around them. It includes instructions for six different activities that engage students in learning about the habitat around them. The activities are easy to do, and the supplies are included in the backpack. Activities can be completed in any available greenspace. Greenspaces can be found at your school, sites within walking distance, BCCD sites, other parks or at home.

Download complete information here

Fourth Grade

“Living History” – October

Pioneers on the Prairie (1800’s) – FIELD TRIP

Students travel back in time to the 1800’s. They will learn about the pioneers, why they came to Illinois, and the pioneer lifestyle. During this program students help prepare their lunch which is cooked over an open fire; explore an authentic 1840’s cabin; and learn some pioneer hands-on skills by doing chores and making their very own pioneer toy.

Download Pioneers on the Prairie Flyer

Download Pioneers Teacher Packet        Download Pioneers Teacher Packet – Spanish

“Living History” – November

Les Voyageurs (1700’s) – IN-SCHOOL CLASSROOM VISIT

Students will learn about the Voyageurs, or French fur traders, and their part in Illinois history. They will practice fur identification, play a trading game, and make a period craft.

Download Voyageurs Flyer

Download Voyageurs Activity Packet — Download Voyageurs Activity Packet – Spanish

Fifth & Sixth Grades

“Populations & Ecosystems” – October through November

Fifth and sixth graders become ecologists for the day and discover the ecosystems in Boone County. This program focuses on ecosystems, population change, food chains and food webs. They will get to explore prairie, forest and wetland ecosystems and participate in hands-on games and activities.

Junior High & High School

“Outdoor Recreation” – September through May

Junior high and high school students have the opportunity to come to the BCCD and participate in various low/minimum impact recreational opportunities. Program opportunities include (but are not limited to), canoeing classes (taught by ACA certified instructors), GPS, map and compass, Leave No Trace™, tent camping, fire building, backpacking, outdoor survival, cross country skiing/snowshoe, fishing, and letterboxing.