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Programs for 3rd-5th Grade groups

More than 1100 groups come to the Tenafly Nature Center each year. With their boundless curiosity, they touch, observe and listen to the natural world. This year you can join our professional educators as they bring classroom concepts to life and lead your students in hands-on learning and close observations in our 380-acre living museum.

These programs are designed to help educators meet some of the Next Generation Science Standards and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, and have been developed for students in 3rd-5th grades.

If a subject of interest to you does not appear below, please contact the Education Director for more information on how we can design programs to reinforce your curriculum.

Field Trips for 3rd-5th Grade Groups 

Field Trip programs are designed to be taught at Tenafly Nature Center, however you can also schedule a TNC to Go at your location to participate in some of these same experiences.

 Sample Schedule

 Half Day
 (One 90-minute program)

 Full Day
 (Two 90-minute programs)

 9:15 am

 Groups arrive at TNC

 Groups arrive at TNC

 9:30 am-11:00 am

 Program #1 (ex. Maple Sugaring)

 Program #1 (ex. Maple Sugaring)

 11:00 am-11:45 am

 Lunch Time in reserved space

 Lunch Time in reserved space

 11:45 am-1:15 pm

 Group departs TNC

 Program #2 (ex. Leapin Lifecycles)

 1:15 pm

 

 Group departs TNC


Field Trip Programs Available All Year 
(All programs are 90 minutes)
 
Click title to view description


Utilize skulls to identify how an animals external parts are used to help them survive and grow. Meet four different live animals and discover how different organisms survive and thrive in specific habitats while others cannot. Discover what happens to those species when a habitat changes.


Meet a live bird of prey and learn what it is that makes a bird a bird. Discover how todays bird species share similarities to their prehistoric relatives. Learn how a birds external parts help it to grow and survive and identify how the shape of a birds beak enables it to obtain food.


Challenge yourself and discover as a group how to communicate effectively and cultivate cooperative skills. Through problem-solving challenges, generate and compare multiple solutions and recognize each individuals strengths.


Learn about the major factors that threaten animals with endangerment and extinction worldwide. Discover how people both directly and indirectly affect the Earth's biodiversity and meet 4-5 living examples of species whose populations are being affected by human actions today. Gain an awareness of New Jersey’s 60+ endangered species, and develop solutions to help prevent threats to our local wildlife. Field trip programs (90 minutes) explore what happens to a species when most of the population is gone and how easily the remaining animals can perish.


Learn how the Palisades were formed, identify why geology is important, what the geosphere is, and what types of rocks can be found along the northeastern edge of New Jersey. Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties and discover the effects of weathering and erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation. Determine the difference between trace and body fossils and identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.


Develop an understanding of why scientists classified reptiles and amphibians as herps and how their internal and external structures support their growth and survival. Learn about the special adaptations that make each of these groups unique and meet several live reptiles and amphibians. Field trip programs (90 minutes) dive in for an in depth look at amphibian life cycles.


Explore two different areas found at TNC and learn why some organisms can survive and some don't thrive in our forest neighborhood. Discover what plants and animals require for their basic needs in a habitat and how populations can change and affect those necessary resources.


Examine live insects and learn how diverse invertebrate life can be in a forest habitat. Discover how each animals structure help it to survive and how insects are similar yet different from other invertebrates. Learn about insect life stages and how some insects provide for their young. Learn how invertebrates contribute to human survival and what we can do to reduce our negative impacts on their populations.


Meet live invertebrates and amphibians and go for a tadpole hunt in one of our ponds. Discover some of the amazing things that insects and amphibians do and learn about complete and incomplete life-cycles with a focus on the stages of metamorphosis.


Discover how the Native Americans who inhabited this area utilized science, technology, engineering, and math in their daily lives. Utilize natural resources to create similar survival tools the natives would have and engage in some classic Lenape games of skill.


Discover how the earth's magnetism can be utilized to help locate directions and learn how to use a compass properly. Learn about pacing and then apply all newly learned skills on an outdoor course and work as a group to complete a magnetic and direction finding challenge.


Learn about orienteering, a competitive international sport that combines racing with navigation. Discover how to analyze and interpret data from maps to identify natural and man-made features. Learn how to orient a map and then participate in a timed race in which individual participants use topographic maps to select routes and navigate their way to find hidden control points along TNC trails.


Discover the essential things people need to survive and learn about the "rules of three". Generate and compare solutions and develop a plan to construct a survival shelter or other tools needed to aid in wilderness survival.


Meet a live hawk and owl and discover how amazing birds of prey (Raptors) are. Discover what specifically makes a bird a raptor while learning about both diurnal and nocturnal adaptations and how they utilize their senses to locate and obtain their prey. Field trip programs (90 minutes) feature a pellet dissection and learning how scientists are able to study and learn more about these winged wonders without direct contact.


Discover how animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond the the information in different ways. Learn how senses are used to help animals survive, utilizing sensory observation skills, and investigate how people can apply some of these techniques to enrich their lives.


Learn how much water can be found in different places on Earth, its uses, and how water alters the land. Discover how through the water cycle (evaporation, condensation, precipitation, collection), the hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and geosphere all interact. Learn where the water at TNC goes and how watersheds play a role in all living organisms lives.


Learn how the elements can be used to predict weather patterns and how the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation has on our natural world. Through demonstrations and experiments, your class will learn how to use several basic instruments to measure and hypothesize future weather patterns and come up with solutions that reduce the impacts of a weather-related hazard.


Discover how energy flows from the sun through the ecosystem and what components make up a food chain. Meet live animals that form a local food chain and discover how producers, consumers and decomposers interact through a fun action filled game that highlights predator and prey relationships.


Seasonal Field Trip Programs
(All programs are 90 minutes)
 
Click title to view description


Discover how the structure of plants aide in survival and growth, what elements are needed for survival, and how the environment can affect a plants growth. Learn how animals assist in seed dispersal and about the history of apple cider and the tools and solutions people developed to solve extraction problems. Then use an old-fashioned screw press to make and sample fresh apple cider.


Discover what plants need, and how their main parts function to help with their survival. Explore how daylight affects a plants seasonal cycle and what that has to do with Maple Syrup. Learn how to identify a Maple tree and discover how to make maple syrup as we journey through the entire process of sap to syrup. Find out how those processes have changed over time and take the syrup challenge where participants taste and try to distinguish 100% maple from other syrup.


Examine the living macro-invertebrates found in a freshwater pond system and discover how each animals external parts help it to meet their needs. Learn about the diverse life cycles found within TNC's freshwater habitats, the interrelationships found within, and how human activity impacts these.


Field Trip Add-Ons
Click title to view description


Help support the animal ambassadors that live at TNC, in conjunction with a scheduled field trip. Enjoy a 30 minute up close visit and Q&A session with your sponsored animal. All school & summer group sponsorship's receive a thank you package which includes: a group photo with the animal, certificate, photograph of sponsored animal, recognition in our newsletter, species information and animal's biography.

Fee: $60


Come visit our 12' x 24' seasonal exhibit filled with native butterflies. This add-on showcases beautifully colored butterflies sipping nectar and taking flight, offering students the opportunity to better understand and appreciate their life cycle and importance to the ecosystem. Inside you will be welcome to chat with staff or volunteers, ask questions, and enjoy the space while butterflies flit and fly about. Observe butterfly chrysalis in the chrysalis box. Maybe you will be lucky enough to see a butterfly emerge!

Fee: $1 per child (15 min. per 10 students) 2 adults free for every 10 students.
*butterflies are less active when temperatures are below 70 F or if it is overcast and/or raining.


Before or after your scheduled programs, enjoy a guided trail walk along one of our trails, led by a TNC staff member.

Fee: $50-$75 (30-60 minutes)


Before or after your scheduled programs, grab a trail map and guide your students along one of our trails.

Fee: Free


3rd-5th Grade Field Trip Pricing

 

 Half Day
 (One 90-minute program)

 Full Day
 (Two 90-minute programs)

Up to 20 students  $180  $280
Up to 25 students  $225  $350
Up to 30 students  $270  $420


  • There is no additional charge for teachers and aides.
  • Maximum 1st-12th grade group size is 30 children per TNC educator.
  • A maximum of 120 students can be accommodated at TNC at one time. Larger groups can be divided between morning and afternoon, or scheduled over several days.
  • Programs require one teacher per class and one adult chaperone per five students who may attend for free. 
  • In order to obtain adequate staff, advance notice of additional students and adults is required. We reserve the right to limit the number of non-registered participants on the trail to the number originally registered on the confirmation form.
  • Please separate 1st-12th grade students into groups of 30 max (or one class) prior to arrival.
  • If your funds are limited, please consider applying for a scholarship (we strive to make nature accessible to everyone).

Accessibility at TNC

Many of the programs Tenafly Nature Center offers can be altered to accommodate participants with special needs. We ask that you disclose pertinent information with a minimum of two weeks notice about any students that have any special needs (particular educational requirements resulting from learning difficulties, physical disability, or emotional and behavioral difficulties). This information enables us to make the necessary accommodations needed to meet the needs of your group.

TNC to Go Programs for 3rd-5th Grade Groups

TNC to Go programs are designed to be taught at your location, however you can also schedule a field trip to Tenafly Nature Center to participate in these same experiences.

TNC To Go Programs Available All Year
(Unless otherwise noted, programs are 45-60 minutes):
Click title to view description


Utilize skulls to identify how an animals external parts are used to help them survive and grow. Meet four different live animals and discover how different organisms survive and thrive in specific habitats while others cannot. Discover what happens to those species when a habitat changes.


Discover what really makes an animal nocturnal and what they need to survive. Meet several live animals who are most active at dawn, dusk, or night. Learn how light affects these creatures and about the amazing adaptations some of these animals possess to thrive as they roam the nighttime landscape.


Learn about the major factors that threaten animals with endangerment and extinction worldwide. Discover how people both directly and indirectly affect the Earth's biodiversity and meet 4-5 living examples of species whose populations are being affected by human actions today. Gain an awareness of New Jersey’s 60+ endangered species, and develop solutions to help prevent threats to our local wildlife. Field trip programs (90 minutes) explore what happens to a species when most of the population is gone and how easily the remaining animals can perish.


Develop an understanding of why scientists classified reptiles and amphibians as herps and how their internal and external structures support their growth and survival. Learn about the special adaptations that make each of these groups unique and meet several live reptiles and amphibians. Field trip programs (90 minutes) dive in for an in depth look at amphibian life cycles.


Examine live insects and learn how diverse invertebrate life can be in a forest habitat. Discover how each animals structure help it to survive and how insects are similar yet different from other invertebrates. Learn about insect life stages and how some insects provide for their young. Learn how invertebrates contribute to human survival and what we can do to reduce our negative impacts on their populations.


Discover how the Native Americans who inhabited this area utilized science, technology, engineering, and math in their daily lives. Utilize natural resources to create similar survival tools the natives would have and engage in some classic Lenape games of skill.


Meet a live hawk and owl and discover how amazing birds of prey (Raptors) are. Discover what specifically makes a bird a raptor while learning about both diurnal and nocturnal adaptations and how they utilize their senses to locate and obtain their prey. Field trip programs (90 minutes) feature a pellet dissection and learning how scientists are able to study and learn more about these winged wonders without direct contact.


Discover how energy flows from the sun through the ecosystem and what components make up a food chain. Meet live animals that form a local food chain and discover how producers, consumers and decomposers interact through a fun action filled game that highlights predator and prey relationships.


Meet a live owl and learn about their unique adaptations. Discover how as one owl species habitat changes it affects other species across the United States. Identify how these nocturnal utilize their senses to locate and obtain their prey and what similarities we share with these powerful and efficient predators.


A hole in the ground is always mysterious as it invites curiosity and wonder. Discover why some animals are fossorial (live underground) and what adaptations they need to survive this underfoot habitat. Meet four live animals whose survival depends on the time they spend within the soil and discover why subterranean ecosystems are diverse, balanced, and much more active than you may think.


TNC To Go Add-Ons

Animal Sponsorship
Help support the animal ambassadors that live at TNC, in conjunction with a scheduled TNC to Go program. 

Enjoy an additional 15-30 minute up close visit and Q & A session with your sponsored animal. All school & summer group sponsorship's receive a thank you package which includes: sponsored animal sticker or collectible trading card for every student, a certificate, photograph of sponsored animal, recognition in our newsletter, species information and animal's biography.

TNC to Go Pricing for 3rd-5th Grade Groups

 30-Minute 
 I
ndividual Class

 (<30 students)

 60-Minute
 Individual Class

 (<30 students)

 90-Minute
 Individual Class

 (<30 students)

  60-Minute
 Assembly

 (>30 students)

 1st Program (NJ & NY)    $210  $235  $360
 1st Program (NYC boroughs)    $330*  $360*  $480*
 Consecutive Programs    $125  $150  $300
 Animal Sponsorship (add-on)  $60      
  •  There is no additional charge for teachers and aides.
  • *Additional fee is included to the first program fee for all New York City boroughs visits to cover NYC permit requirements.
  • A mileage charge of the current IRS rate per mile round trip is added to the program fee if the location is outside of Tenafly.
  • One parking space must be provided near the entrance of your location (if no parking is available at your site then a fee will be added to cover any associated garage fees).
  • Consecutive programs are programs held one right after another, for different classes, in the same school with no more than a 60 minute break between two of the programs.
  • Classes with more than 30 students will be charged the assembly fees. An assembly program is one program, held for multiple classes, in one location, and at one time.
  • If your funds are limited, please consider applying for a scholarship (we strive to make nature accessible to everyone).
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