Taking 1st graders outdoors

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Last week I had the opportunity to go on the Elkhorn Slough trails with a difference audience than what I am use to. I had a class of 1st graders from Salinas come to the slough for their end of the year field trip. For many, this was the first time the students visited the slough. When the students were lining up to get ready to go on the trails, most of them saw my binoculars and quickly requested to use them. They were all very eager to use them for some reason and throughout the hike they constantly asked me if they could borrow them.

While on the hike, the students were very energetic and excited to see any animal. We came across several things that were appropriate for their age that was going to spark some curiosity. They saw a Barn Owl chick from a distance, owl pellets, oak gall, bunnies, spittlebugs, and many more during the insect shake activity. I was not expecting to have such a great audience that was hungry for new things. I was very glad for the opportunity to lead a group of kids on a nature walk. For many of them this walk could have been their first nature walk with a naturalist. To me, it was a great learning experience since this was my first time working with this age group in nature. It was very different from my other experiences but it was definitely worth it.

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