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Sixth Grade Field Trips

The Forest Preserve District of Will County offers 16 different field trips for sixth grade students.

Four Rivers Environmental Education Center

Go with the Flow

This place-based program highlights three valuable functions rivers provide. Students learn about historic types of river transportation and navigation, as well as the obstacles facing river captains. During a fast-paced game of animal survival, they will also learn the interrelatedness of living creatures and their habitats. Finally, river art is introduced, explored and inspired! This program will entertain and engage every student!

This field trip benefits from support from RiverWorks Discovery, a national outreach education effort that brings together industry, community leaders, museums, nature centers, educators and the public in recognition of the role rivers. A limited amount of bus reimbursements are available from RWD.
Time: 4 hours (includes lunch break)
Area of study: Cultural history, ecology

Explore Your Environment

In this adventure program, middle-school students will take on the role of explorers. They will learn navigational techniques using a compass, investigate local flora and fauna, learn about area rivers, and practice journaling their observations. This program is full of fun challenges and activities that will keep them engaged and test their “survival” skills and teamwork.
Time: 4 hours (includes lunch break)
Area of study: Cultural history, flora and fauna

Flowering Plants (Spring only)

Students will take a look at the beautiful diversity of Spring wild flowers during this seasonal offering. They will review the plant life cycle and examine flower anatomy. Students will be introduced to various ways humans use plants and will practice identifying native species in the field.  
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Flora and fauna

Forest Ecology

Unlock the mysteries of the forest ecosystem. Students will study tree identification, anatomy, and function. Your class will learn the benefits of their local forest community and use investigative skills to discover the diversity in Will County.  
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Ecology

Introduction to Orienteering

In this program students will learn to navigate with a compass through a variety of activities and games. Basic navigational instruction includes reading bearings and estimating distance through paces to complete fun courses and challenges. 
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Physical education, STEM Strong

Water Quality Lab

This water lab connects students with their watershed by practicing hands-on water quality monitoring and habitat surveying techniques. During this engaging program, students determine the health of a local body of water. Participants conduct a biological survey by dipping for and identifying aquatic insects in the field and perform chemical surveys in the water lab. Students explore the natural areas throughout the preserve and reflect on how watersheds affect habitats, people, and society.
Time: 4 hours
Area of study: Ecology, STEM Strong, Flora and Funa

Isle a la Cache Museum

Living on the Land 

Explore in detail the Native Americans’ relationship with the land. Students will learn about the seasonal preparations and activities of the Potawatomi people.
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Cultural history, flora and fauna

The Trade 

Step back in time to Illinois during the 1750s. Students practice the barter system used by the French and Native Americans to exchange goods. By participating in a trade, students learn and see the benefits of this economic process.
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Cultural history

A Voyageur’s Life

What was life like for a French fur trader in the 1700s? How much knowledge did these early explorers need in order to survive their journey in search of furs? Students learn about the challenges, risks and rewards of being a French fur trader and demonstrate the skills for success.
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Cultural history, physical education

The Story Circle

Students learn the importance of oral stories as a means to promote cultural values and traditions as they explore the stories of the French and the Native Americans of the Great Lakes Region. During this exploration, students will create a myth using pictography and communicate in Native American sign language. 
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Cultural history

Stalk, Track, Hunt

Take a trip to the past to discover the skills used by Native Americans to hunt for food in the wilderness. This program will focus on animal tracking, stalking skills and hunting methods. Students will explore Isle a la Cache preserve and learn about the animals of the historic Illinois country and their role in the survival of the Potawatomi.     
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Cultural history, flora and fauna, STEM Strong

Plum Creek Nature Center

Sniff, Look & Listen

In this program, students explore various habitats throughout Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve. Through hands-on observation, they will become aware of habitat similarities and differences and how each provides its inhabitants with basic survival needs. Possible habitats explored include wetland, prairie and forest.
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Flora and fauna

Wetland Wonders

Hidden beneath the rippling water of a creek or pond is an abundance of life that awaits discovery. Students will sample a wetland, identify aquatic invertebrates and draw conclusions from data.
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Ecology, flora and fauna

ASI: Animal Scene Investigators

"ASI” teaches students the basics of investigating the scenes, tracks and homes left by Will County animals. Observational and critical thinking skills will be used to investigate the patterns of tracks, types of homes and other animal signs made by these often unseen critters.
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Flora and fauna

Hands-On Herpetology

Introduce your students to the amphibians and reptiles that live in Will County with the use of live animals. Explore the habitats of several species that call Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve home. Learn fun facts about the differences among snakes, lizards, frogs and salamanders.
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Flora and fauna

Taste of the Wild

Ready to tantalize your taste buds? Learn to safely identify and sample berries, seeds, leaves, flowers, stalks and roots, depending upon the season. Hike through different habitats and discover how plants are adapted for survival.
Time: 1.5 hours
Area of study: Flora and fauna


Field trips are offered at three Forest Preserve facilities. Student capacity varies for each site. Additional field trip days may be required to accommodate larger groups.


Maximum 50 students (or three classes) per day at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center.


Maximum 50 students per day at Isle a la Cache Museum.

Crete Township

Maximum 50 students per day at Plum Creek Nature Center.

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