Our school is located in a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so we are known as a Parks as Classroom school. The majority of our field trips are directly connected to the Park. We have a Director who coordinates our field trips and makes arrangements, so our teachers are lucky in that they don't have to do a lot of pre-planning. In 2nd grade in the fall, we go on a hike, where the rangers lead small groups in the history of the area, with lessons on how the mountain people lived, worked, and played.All field trips have a pre-test and a post-test to measure knowledge. Other grade levels do overnight trips to the Environmental Center, go fly-fishing, visit cabins, and hunt and research insects, among other activities. Parks as Classroom is a wonderful program, and exposes the students to many aspects of a National Park, while guiding them to be lifelong stewards of the treasure that is truly their backyard.
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