Virtual School Field Trips

A field trip that remotely transmits students to a natural environment that engages and educates students with fun-filled activities.”

2nd Grade Teacher, Viejo Elementary, Capistrano Unified School District

The Nature Reserve offers live, virtual field trips with our certified interpretive naturalists on the trail, engaging with your students from wherever they are.

For a complete learning experience, each program includes:

 – 45-Minute Live, Virtual Field Trip on the Nature Reserve

– 2 Pre-Recorded “Lessons from the Field” Videos

– 4 Pre- and Post-Field Trip Activity Pages

Nature Explorers – Virtual Field Trip

Nature explorers meet a live animal and investigate animal evidence along the trail to learn about animals in creek and woodland habitats. Students discover the needs of plants, animals and people. Students learn how people use the earth’s natural resources and the importance of protecting and conserving those resources. 

Kindergarten NGSS K-LS1-1, LS1.C, K-ES3-1, K-ESS3-3, DCI: ESS3.A, ESS3.C

Wildlife Investigators – Virtual Field Trip
1st Grade

Students investigate mystery animal evidence to learn about and meet a live native reptile. Students play a hide and seek game to learn how animals survive in their habitats through camouflage and warning coloration. Students adventure along a trail of native plants and trees to understand the important roles of plant structures such as roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruit.

First Grade NGSS DCIs LS1.A, LS1.D, LS3.B

The Earth and Its Changes – Virtual Field Trip
2nd Grade

Students become geologists “on the trail” as they investigate how forces, such as erosion and weathering, shape earth’s landforms. Students discover how rocks and minerals play an essential role in our everyday lives. Students meet a live animal to understand how the earth is important for animals too!

“Lessons from the Field” Videos (included):

“Let’s Go to Rainbow Mountain!” Get an up close look at the colorful layers of rock that make up Rainbow Mountain, a former clay mine. Learn about the properties of clay and how we use this important natural resource.

“Super Soils!” Investigate soils from majestic oak trees and prickly pear cactus to compare and contrast the soil properties of different types of plants.

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 – Virtual Field Trip
3rd Grade

Student learning comes to life as they interact with a live animal to find out how it is adapted to its wild environment. Students get a close look at a coyote specimen as they discover its many physical and behavioral adaptations and the benefits of living in a group. Students investigate a native plant on the trail to learn about its adaptations for survival in southern California’s hot and dry climate.

“Lessons from the Field” Videos (included):

“Skull Studies”: Students study skull and teeth structures of native animals to learn how they are adapted for the foods they eat. Students determine if animals are herbivores, carnivores or omnivores based on clues from the animal’s diet.

“Interview with Nocturnal Animals”: Students watch a hilarious skit in which animals interview for the prestigious job of “Nighttime Security Officer on the Reserve”. Through this fun and playful scene, students learn about nocturnal animal adaptations such as night vision and silent flight.

Third Grade NGSS 3-LS2-1, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-4; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4, 3.7 & SL.3.3, 3.6

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

Students step back in time as they discover the life of the California Native American. Students explore how native plants and animals were used for survival. Students listen to an animal legend to learn how storytelling communicated significant beliefs and knowledge. 

“Lessons from the Field” Videos (included):

“Let’s Make Some Music!”: Students listen to the natural sounds of California Indian musical instruments. Learn how local tribes constructed instruments from native plants and animals.

“Game On!”: Students learn how games of skill and games of chance were important in California Indians’ daily lives.  Students watch demonstrations of traditional games.

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

EcosySTEM Studies – Virtual Field Trip
5th Grade

Students discover the important biotic and abiotic factors within an ecosystem as they observe, collect and record data with a naturalist on the trail. Students understand the flow of energy between organisms as they discover the roles of plants and animals within food chains. Students gain knowledge and insight to important science careers as they explore the job of a Wildlife Biologist, including a meeting with a live animal.

“Lessons from the Field” Videos (included):

“Ecosystem Studies: San Juan Creek”: Students become ecologists, biologists and entomologists as they venture to San Juan Creek to investigate this incredible ecosystem. Learn about the animals that call the creek home, such as the endangered arroyo toad, and how scientists study this species to have a positive impact on its survival.

“Save the Desert Tortoise!”: Students meet a California Desert Tortoise, a threatened species of the desert ecosystem. Students learn about what is impacting their survival and specific actions they can take to help this special species.

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 


Each Virtual Field Trip program includes a 45-minute live virtual field trip with two certified interpretive naturalists. Also included are Pre- and Post-field Trip activities and Pre-recorded Video Lessons correlated to the virtual field trip. The cost is $100 per class of approximately 30 students.

Capistrano Unified School District Title One Schools:

Through a generous donation from Cox Communications this program may be FREE to your classes! Please register soon as 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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