Activities

We are a small but mighty team of two here at Long Acres Ranch.  Our expansive education background allows us to develop programming that is directly tied to the science standards and activities are correlated with the TEKS.

The school field trips are location-activity based and last approximately 2.5 hours.  Stations are set up according to age/grade level, and groups (approximately 20 per group) move through the stations. Stations are teacher-led with provided materials and scripts.  Occasionally, we are able to find volunteers to help with a special topic.

If you have a desire to make it an all day field trip, you are welcome to pack a lunch and eat on the grass.  We have additional team building activities we can bring out for you to do with your students after lunch, or you can just have your regular class outside and enjoy the green space.

Listed below are the typical activities we do with each grade level:

PK-2

  • Organisms use their sense of smell to do a variety of things.  Explore how one beetle will leave its “peppermint” mark on trees and see if you can track where it is has been!
  • Explore the shape of things by feeling a touch box, and then go out and find those shapes.
  • Get in touch with trees
  • Compare differences between parent and their offspring; ex: a mother deer vs a fawn; a butterfly vs a caterpillar

3rd Grade

  • Do you have a scent that reminds you of something? Organisms use their sense of smell to do a variety of things.  Explore how one beetle will leave its “peppermint” mark on trees and see if you can track where it is has been.
  • See what happens when you remove bees from the ecosystem.  Play a game where they move pieces of pollen from one flower to another and observe what happens as the bees dwindle.

4th Grade

  • Students will explore soil samples.  Using the knowledge gained from the soil samples, look at how rain affects different soils.
  • Who polluted the Brazos River?  Participate in an interactive story about how the Brazos River is polluted by everyday activities and how we can conserve and take care of this natural resource.
  • Enjoy a trip through the adventure of a water droplet.  Pretend you are a water drop moving around the earth.  How do you move?  Write a story about your adventure.  Probes will also be used to look at the role the sun plays with the water cycle.
  • We look at weathering, deposition and erosion and how it affects the land.

5th Grade

  • Students will have an opportunity to see first hand how a river is formed using our stream demonstration trailer.  Then take a ride down to the river to see the WED in action.
  • Take a walk through the woods and see how predator/prey, producer/consumer relationships exist.  After identification of the organisms, diagram the flow of energy in your journal.
  • Compare real skulls of feral hogs versus domestic pigs and see how the differences in them support their survival in their environment.
  • Examine the Bobwhite Quail habitat and see how it has adapted to its environment.

6th Grade

  • Enjoy roasting marshmallows over a campfire, but first you must draw out the campfire and label conduction, convection and radiation.  A correct answer will get you a marshmallow and stick for roasting.  Which wood burns faster and hotter?
  • Use the provided river model to determine the speed of the river.  First the group must find the distance of the provided river, then roll a marble through and time it to find the time in seconds.  Calculate to find the speed of the river.
  • Become a rock hound.  Identify and classify rocks based on their physical properties.
  • Students will examine river water.  Determine the health of the river by the number of organisms found.

7th & 8th Grade

  • Sunlight is the source where all energy originates.  Examine the affect sunlight has on plant growth—specifically photosynthesis—using live plants.
  • Take a walk through the woods and see how predator/prey, producer/consumer relationships exist.  After identification of the organisms, diagram the flow of energy in your journal.
  • Put on your detective caps to figure out who ate the quail eggs.  See how different organisms live in the same area.  Use the clues to determine what predators are in the area.
  • Examine LAR from 1941 until today.  Look at satellite images and compare the images.  How has the property changed?  Predict what it will look like in the future.  Combine this with a trailer ride to get a visual of where the river was vs where it is today.