In-Person School Field Trips

All teachers commented that this was the best, most relevant and fun field trip they have taken, and none of us are beginning teachers! …We are hooked!”

2nd Grade Teacher

The Nature Reserve offers opportunities for hands-on learning through our onsite field trips. On a field trip to the Nature Reserve, students will have fun while learning science and history in an outdoor setting.

For a complete learning experience, each program includes: 

– Half-day Onsite Field Trip on the Nature Reserve

– Pre-Field Trip Virtual Assembly (2nd – 5th grade only)

– 4 Pre- and Post-Field Trip Activity Pages

Nature Explorers – Field Trip

Students become nature explorers by using their senses and learning how to protect Earth’s plants, animals and environments. Students will explore habitats along San Juan Creek as they investigate animal evidence along the trail. As engineers, students will design, build and test solar shade structures and wildlife crossings.

Kindergarten NGSS K-PS3-1-2, PS3.B, K-LS1-1, LS1.C, K-ESS3-1-3, ESS3.A-C, ETS1.A-B 

Wildlife Investigators – Field Trip
1st Grade

Students participate in hands-on activities along an interactive trail where they will learn about plants and animals and the different ways they survive in their environment. Wildlife investigators explore camouflage, skull and teeth shapes, plant parts, animal communication and biomimicry.

First Grade NGSS 1-LS1-1-2, LS1.A-B, LS1.D, 1-LS3-1, LS3.A-B

The Earth and Its Changes – Field Trip
2nd Grade

Students become earth scientists as they dive into hands-on explorations with soils, sand, clay and water. Students will study how earth’s landforms are shaped, the many properties of rocks and minerals, and the surprising uses of earth’s natural resources. Hiking highlights include views of Rainbow Mountain and a visit to a Mother Oak, a 500 year-old oak tree.

Second Grade NGSS PEs 2-ESS1-1; 2-ESS2-2; 2-LS4-1; EP&C Principle 1; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3, 2.4 & SL.2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6

Adaptations – Field Trip
3rd Grade

Students learn about plant, insect, and animal adaptations while traversing a trail through four distinct habitats. Students meet a live animal, investigate fossil evidence of past environments, and get hands-on experience with scientific tools, such as binoculars and insect sweep nets.

Third Grade NGSS 3-LS1.-1, 3-LS4-1, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4, 3.7 & SL.3.3, 3.6

Native American Life: A Walk Back in Time – Field Trip
4th Grade

Through hands-on learning students will experience the life of the California Native American by playing games, gathering and trading, and learning how plants and animals were used for survival. Students will learn how the landscape of southern California influenced the way the native peoples adapted to their environment. 

Fourth Grade History-Social Science Standard 4.2.1; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2, 4.4 & SL.4.2, 4.6

EcosySTEM Studies – Field Trip
5th Grade

Students use investigation and inquiry to learn about careers in science, energy transfer and the biodiversity of local flora and fauna. Students engage in critical thinking as they consider human influence on the environment. 

Fifth Grade NGSS PEs 5-PS3-1, 5-LS2-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-ESS3-1, 5-ESS2-1; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4 & SL.5.6 


In-Person Field Trips for 1st – 5th Grade are $12/student with a 30 student (or $360) minimum cost. Kindergarten Field Trip is $10/student and is 1.5 hours with a 30 student (or $300) minimum cost. Each In-Person Field Trip also includes Pre- and Post-Activity Lessons. The 2nd-5th Grade field trips also include a virtual pre-field trip assembly (via Zoom).

New Information for 2021-22 School Year:

In-person field trips occur on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays only between 9 am – 12 pm. Lunch is not included onsite. Snack time is included during the field trip.

Maximum of 60 students per field trip day or two classes of approximately 60 students.

Approximately 2 adults (teachers/chaperones) per field trip small group (typically 10-15 students) is recommended with a maximum of 10 adults per day. A minimum of one adult per small group (typically 10-15 students) is required. If additional adults are needed as drivers in lieu of a bus, exceptions can be made. Please inquire.

Capistrano Unified School District Title One Schools:

Through a generous donation from Cox Communications this program may be FREE to your classes! Spaces are limited for this grant opportunity. Free programs will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis to qualifying CUSD Title One schools only.

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