LPS fourth graders immerse themselves in history and science on the prairie

Each fall, Lincoln Public Schools fourth grade students have the opportunity to explore Nebraska history and natural resources up close and personal. 

Fourth grade students connect with nature during prairie immersion trips at Pioneers Park or Spring Creek Prairie in Denton. The trips help make real-life connections to classroom lessons on Nebraska History.

Hill Elementary fourth grade students recently visited Spring Creek Prairie. 

“I think it’s cool because you get to see all the photos in real life,” Josie said. She is a fourth grade student at Hill.

“It’s a lot of fun because we as teachers don’t get to watch them explore a lot. It's a lot of indoor sitting and doing work, but a lot of them are really coming out of their shell to explore,” Hill teacher Cassidy Sostad said.

The students witnessed historical landmarks like parts of the Oregon Trail and learned about insects, animals and plants native to Nebraska while hiking the tall grass fields. 

“I liked to catch the bugs because we got to use the nets and we got to use the bag and we used teamwork,” Hill student Hunter said. 

The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (NRD) funds the prairie immersion trips, which are offered as a part of LPS Science and Social Studies curriculum. In addition to learning Nebraska history in social studies, LPS fourth graders focus on plants and animals and how they adapt to their environments in science. 

Educators said these trips teach students new ways of learning by integrating state resources. 

“It can be hard to replicate all of the parts of an ecosystem in a classroom with four walls. The prairie field trip gives our students the opportunity to study the whole ecosystem and how its parts interact with each other,” LPS K-12 Science Curriculum Specialist Betsy Barent said.

“Many of our students do not have the opportunity to explore Nebraska outside of an urban setting. This opportunity allows students to expand their understanding of their community, city, and state in a meaningful way,” LPS  K-12 Social Studies Curriculum Specialist Jaci Kellison added.

See below highlights from Hill Elementary’s Prairie Immersion trip at Spring Creek.

Published: September 21, 2022, Updated: September 22, 2022

Hill Elementary fourth graders explored Spring Creek Prairie in September.