May 13–16, 2014
9:45 a.m.–2 p.m.
Explore the wonders of garden science through engaging hands-on activities. Observe, sketch, and analyze garden specimens. Check out live garden creatures such as millipedes, meal worms, cockroaches, and spiders, and meet the museum’s entomology staff. Hop, wiggle, and fly through a bug-themed obstacle course. Stroll through the museum’s outdoor Discovery Garden or add a Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden tour ($4 additional per person).
Themed visits give students a chance to experience the museum in new ways. Activities begin at 9:45 a.m. and end at 2 p.m., but classes may arrive and depart at anytime during that period.
Before your visit
- Divide students into groups of 5 or fewer and assign each group a chaperon.
- Discuss field trip expectations and lunch plans with chaperons and students.
- Role-play museum etiquette with students.
During your Theme Day experience
- Museum educators will greet you with activity guides and maps.
- Exciting, theme-related activity stations will be staffed by museum educators.
- Students and chaperons will enjoy free exploration time throughout the museum. Students and chaperons must stay together throughout the visit.
Classroom activities to enhance your Theme Day experience
- Have students bring in a garden object of their choice—either a food or flower from a garden, a garden tool, or a picture of a garden. Display the objects on a table or shelf. Add to the display to provide a variety of garden objects. Provide time for students to explore all of the objects on display. Ask students to define what a garden is and to discuss different types of gardens. Ask students to explain why they think gardens are important.
- Take your class outside for a nature scavenger hunt. Encourage students to look for and sketch the following and then discuss their findings:
- Something that has wings
- Something that is red
- Something with buds or blossoms
- Something that moves
- Something natural that could hold water
- Nest-building material for a bird
- Something you wonder about
- Invite students to write, tell, or illustrate a story that captures an experience enjoyed in a garden. Encourage students to use descriptive vocabulary and to add as much detail as possible to their story or drawing.
- Invite a gardening expert to talk to students. Alternately, ask students to find someone at home who loves gardening and interview him or her. Ask the expert questions such as:
- What was your first gardening experience
- What do you like most about gardening
- What inspired you to garden
- What advice would you give to someone who would like to start a garden?
For other ideas visit: