Third Grade Programs

Third Grade Programs

The Lilly Center’s K-12 programs aspire to a high goal: develop water literacy in the children who will eventually lead our community. Students who engage with one or several of our programs leave with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for local water resources, as well as practical ways to care for them on their own.

Outdoor Field Trip Programs

Join us for a hike! Outdoor programs start at the Lilly Center and include hikes to the outdoor classroom and along the wetland trails. Students will experience nature up close as they learn about caring for our local water resources. Outdoor programs are offered in September, October, April and May. Students should dress for the weather and wear closed-toed shoes.

Essential Questions: What is an ecosystem? How does it promote the survival of its parts?

Description: Students will learn numerous reasons why we need wetlands and what they actually do. They will start with a hike to the Beta wetland and they will make observations on what they see. Then they will learn key terms like ecosystem, ecology, and habitat. After learning about a wetland they will each get to build their own wetland in a cup. Students will make observations on the water they are putting into their wetland and how they should layer the soil and rocks to create a successful wetland filter. At the end students will come back together and discuss what happened with their wetland design and how it might have been constructed to make it more effective.

Standards: K-2.E.3 Analyze data from the investigation of two objects constructed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs. 3-5.E.3 Construct and perform fair investigations in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.

Process Standards: SEPS.1, SEPS.3, SEPS.6, SEPS.8

Indoor Field Trip Programs

Our most popular learning experience! Students rotate through the following stations during their 2-hour visit to the Lilly Center. They will interact with live animals, the Virtual Aquarium and the Augmented Reality Sand Tables while learning about local water quality impacts.  

Essential Question: What is a minnow/fish and what is their basic shape? Why do fish swim in groups?

Description: Students will learn all about fish and their features. They will also learn why fish tend to swim in groups. They will be walked through a slideshow to illustrate the different parts of a fish, giving them a chance to ask questions. After learning about the different features students will create their own stylized fish to put into the Virtual Aquarium. This STEAM activity is a favorite!

Standards: 3.LS.3 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. 3.LS.4 Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.

Essential Question: What is an ecosystem and what makes up an ecosystem?

Description: In this literature based program, students learn what an ecosystem is and the parts that make up an ecosystem. This includes: producer, herbivore, omnivore, carnivore, and decomposer. To learn more about ecosystems, we read the  book Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner. Then students will then be given different parts of an ecosystem and have to work together to put each piece in the right place to complete their ecosystem. For their activity, the students will get a card that will match one other person. They will need to find each other and figure out what part of the ecosystem they are.

Standards: 3.2.5 Describe natural materials and give examples of how they sustain the lives of plants and animals.

Essential Question: What is pH and how does it affect water and soil?

Description: Students will learn what pH means and what the scale for pH represents. They will then talk about how pH can affect native plant growth. They will do an activity where they are given an item and they need to figure out where to go on the pH scale. The next step will be receiving a card with a native plant and the pH it likes to live in. They will then receive a water and soil sample and use testing measures to test and see if the water and soil is where the plant can live. Finally students will discuss what they found and how having different pH levels in plants can pollute waterways.

Standards: 3.2.5 Describe natural materials and give examples of how they sustain the lives of plants and animals. 3.2.3 Classify and identify minerals by their physical properties of hardness, color, luster and streak. 3.6 Students write using Standard English conventions appropriate to this grade level.

Virtual Visit Programs

Let us bring a field trip to you! These 45-minute virtual programs feature STEM-friendly and standards-aligned learning. After you book your visit, a meeting link and a kit of materials will be delivered to your classroom. All you have to do is join via Zoom and follow along with your students!

Essential Questions: What is a macroinvertebrate? What are some physical features of a macroinvertebrate? How do macroinvertebrates help us determine if the water in lakes and streams is healthy?

Description: Students will learn about macroinvertebrates and how we use them as water quality indicators. Students will be introduced to several different macroinvertebrates and will act out  movements to represent specific invertebrates. For their activity, each student will complete a water quality assessment. They will receive a simulated water sample that they will analyze by graphing which kinds of  macros and how many of each they find in the “water”. Finally,  they will do the calculations and share with the class whether or not they have good water quality.

Standards: 3.LS.3 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. 3.LS.1 Analyze evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms. SEPS.3, SEPS.4, SEPS.5 

Ready to book a field trip?

Reach out to Sarah, our education program specialist: baiersr@grace.edu.