This week I was able to help take two 2nd grade classes on a nature hike at our state park. My job was to observe the leader so I can help lead the hike on another day. The weather was arrived at 9:15 and we were on the trail at 9;30. The hike lasted 90 minutes and then lunch. After lunch our group went to the creek activity with the ranger and that group came on the afternoon hike. They were all back on the bus by 1:30.
Here are things that I learned:
1. Getting 2nd graders to pay attention is easy when the teacher had them trained. She said, “Hocus Pocus…” and the students responded, “Everybody focus!” At that point all eyes were trained on the leader and the group was quiet.
2. 7 year olds love nature! They love touching and moving and seeing.
3. Turtles lying on the logs in the lake were a big hit!
4. 20 students in a group was the maximum that should be in one group. More than that would be a little hard to handle.
5. Break the group into 6 or 7 smaller groups. Each group gets to lead to the next station and then rotate to the back of the line.
6. The afternoon group is very different than the morning group.
7. Sometimes parents are not as well behaved as their children.
8. Parents get as excited as children and want to answer all the questions.
9. 20 minutes for lunch is long enough and then the kids gets rambunctious.
10. It is important to teach young children at an early age to be good conservators of our natural resources.
Original Image by Pat Hensley