Fourth grade

in-school programs

The Forest Preserve District of Will County offers six different in-school field trips for fourth grade students.

When Two Worlds Meet

Students examine the Great Lakes fur trade from the perspective of a Potawatomi Native American or French fur trader. They will discuss the value of beaver pelts to the French and trade goods to the Native Americans. They will also explore how these two cultures used different tools and materials to address similar needs.
Time: 1 hour
Area of study: Cultural history

Junior Winter Birdfeeder Challenge

Your students become citizen scientist in this award-winner 3-program series. During the first visit (November-December) students are introduced to local winter birds and the skills needed to observe and record birds. The second visit (January-February) includes a fun, hands-on activity where students discover bird adaptations. In the final visit (March) student apply all they have learned to create a bird species all their own. The capstone presentation includes discussions of observations and certificate of participation for each student.  Register your class by submitting a completed Program Reservation Form for the first visit in November. The $120 fee includes 3 programs, a birdfeeder and birdseed. Second and third visits are scheduled once November visit is secured.
Time: 1 hour each visit
Area of study: Flora and fauna, STEM Strong

Snowshoe Through Time I

What’s a better way to learn about local history and some science than to get outside and snowshoe! Students start in the classroom learning about the different types of snowshoes and how they were first used by local Native Americans. Students discover how snowshoes work and how important they have been throughout history. Related indoor activities are available in the event of no snow or inclement weather. 
Time: 1 hour
Area of study: Cultural history, physical education
Available December-February

Jolliet & Marquette: Quest for the Mississippi

This program revisits the travels of Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet in their expedition down the Mississippi River. Students examine what these two men needed to survive their 2,500-mile voyage, and will use critical problem solving skills to learn how their travels and discoveries led to the fur trade era in the Illinois region.
Time: 1 hour
Area of study: Cultural history

Whoose Bones?

Turn your classroom into a forensic lab for dissecting and reconstructing the mystery of owl pellets. Students will reveal a food chain and predator/prey relationships right on their desks. 
Time: 1 hour
Area of study: Flora and fauna

Illinois Mammals

In this program, students learn about mammals and their amazing life histories. Discussion includes classification, habitats and food preferences. Students explore firsthand local mammal species by investigating real fur and bone samples.
Time: 1 hour
Flora and fauna


Programs may start at 9 a.m. and must conclude by 3 p.m. Multiple dates may be required for multiple classes. A teacher or school staff member must remain present throughout the program presentation.