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Programs for 1st & 2nd Grade groups

More than 1100 groups of area children and scouts come to the Tenafly Nature Center each year. With their boundless curiosity, they touch, observe and listen to the natural world. This year you can join our professional educators as they bring classroom concepts to life and lead your students in hands-on learning and close observations in our 380-acre living museum.

Our programs are designed to help educators meet some of the Next Generation Science Standards and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, and have been developed for students in 1st and 2nd grades.

If a subject of interest to you does not appear below, please contact the Education Director for more information on how we can design programs to reinforce your curriculum.

You may also visit our After School Series page for information about our other offerings.

Field Trips for 1st & 2nd Grade Groups

1st & 2nd Grade Field Trip Pricing

   Half Day
 (1 program)
 Full Day
 (2 programs)
 Up to 20 students  $140  $240 
 Up to 25 students   $175  $300
 Up to 30 students   $210  $360
  • There is no additional charge for teachers and aides.
  • Maximum 1st-12th grade group size is 30 children per TNC educator.
  • A maximum of 120 students can be accommodated at TNC at one time. Larger groups can be divided between morning and afternoon, or scheduled over several days.
  • Programs require one teacher per class and one adult chaperone per five students who may attend for free. 
  • In order to obtain adequate staff, advance notice of additional students and adults is required. We reserve the right to limit the number of non-registered participants on the trail to the number originally registered on the confirmation form.
  • Please separate 1st-12th grade students into groups of 30 max (or one class) prior to arrival.
  • If your funds are limited, please consider applying for a scholarship (we strive to make nature accessible to everyone).

Current Field Trip Programs (All programs are 1.5-2 hours):

 Sample Schedule  Half Day
 9:15 am  Groups arrive at TNC
 9:30 am-11:00 am  Program Option #1 (ex. Animal Adaptations)
 11:00 am-11:45 am  Lunch Time in reserved space
 11:45 am  Group departs TNC
   
 Sample Schedule  Full Day
 9:15 am  Groups arrive at TNC
 9:30 am-11:00 am  Program Option #1 (ex. Animal Adaptations)
 11:00 am-11:45 am  Lunch Time in reserved space
 11:45 am-1:15 am  Program Option #2 (ex. Pond Ecology)
 1:15 pm  Group departs TNC


F
ield Trips Add-Ons

  1. Butterfly House (30 min.)
    (open Memorial Day-October)

    Come visit our new 12 x 24' butterfly house filled with native butterflies. This add-on offers visitors a total immersion experience as it introduces students to the wonders of metamorphosis.

    Fee: $1 per person

  2. Self-guided Seasonal Walk
    (all year)

    Grab a trail map and guide your students on one of our trails.

    Fee: Free
  1. Animal Adaptations
    How do animals thrive in such varied environments as deep oceans, harsh deserts, dense rain forests, and the frigid polar caps? Through skull examinations and a visit with TNC education animals, students will discover the adaptations animals depend on for their survival and success.

  2. Apple Cider Making (September-November Only)
    Students investigate simple machines and the differences in plant parts, as they use an old-fashioned screw press to make and sample fresh apple cider. In the process, they learn about the history of the cider making from colonial times to the present.

  3. Bird is the Word
    Students learn what makes a bird unlike any other animal. Through activities and games, classes will learn what attributes birds share with other animals and which adaptations set them apart from the various avian species. Students will see and touch artifacts before they go outdoors to search for our resident species and learn how to use binoculars. The program concludes with an up-close visit with a live bird.

  4. Have to Have a Habitat
    Students discover what animals, plants, and people need to survive and what makes a habitat a “home”. Venturing into the forest, your class will investigate wildlife homes and diets, and learn to identify signs of various species and how an assortment of factors control wildlife populations.

  5. Heavenly Herps
    “Herps” (reptiles and amphibians) are among the most under-appreciated and misunderstood species of the animal world. This program will introduce students to live snakes, frogs, salamanders and turtles and highlight the characteristics which distinguish between reptiles and amphibians.

  6. Invertebrate Safari
    Students examine live insects in an introduction to the vast array of insect life. They will be taught where to find insects outside and how to identify them. By observing life stages and adaptations, students will learn to identify different insects in a variety of habitats.

  7. Leaf Shapes
    Students get an up-close look at all the colors and patterns nature has to offer and how the shape of an object helps it function. We’ll review an assortment of leaf shapes and discover ways to identify some of NJ’s common trees, during a walk through the woods.

  8. Maple Sugaring (February-March Only)
    Students learn about the history of maple sugaring in North America by observing a TNC educator tap our Sugar Maple trees. (We encourage sap tasting, if enough has been collected.) We demonstrate both Native American and colonial syrup-making techniques outdoors. We challenge students to try to distinguish between corn syrup and 100% maple syrup by taste alone.

  9. Pond Ecology (late April through early October)
    Using a variety of tools (dip nets, magnifiers, etc.) students will discover aquatic ecosystems and food chains participating in hands-on pond exploration. They will study diversity, adaptations and interrelationships among the organisms they find in the water, and will discuss how human activity impacts aquatic habitats. 

  10. Seasonal Discovery (Fall/Winter/Spring)
    Students will explore the wonders each season brings to the forest. On a walk along the trails, your class will learn to observe and record temperature, weather, and wind direction. They will learn how each of these measurements, as well as plants and animals, respond to seasonal changes! Your students can bring this knowledge back to the classroom to make their own observations! 

  11. Seed Dispersal
    Classes learn to identify and explain the function of different plant parts. Students will discover why plants put energy into producing flowers and seeds. Students explore the reasons plants send seeds on a long journey, and the different mechanisms such as “hitchhiking” and “parachuting” seeds use to travel.

  12. Water, Water Everywhere
    Students help perform demonstrations, experiments and activities as your class is introduced to water molecules and the concepts of evaporation, condensation, precipitation, transpiration, freezing, surface tension. They will learn how plants and animals recycle water and how some animals live in and on the water. During a guided hike along the Nature Center trails students will play a game are designed to help explain how water is vital to all life forms.

  13. A World of Weather
    Students use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time. They will discover what questions can be used to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.

Accessibility at TNC

Many of the programs Tenafly Nature Center offers can be altered to accommodate participants with special needs. We ask that you disclose pertinent information with a minimum of two weeks notice about any students that have any special needs (particular educational requirements resulting from learning difficulties, physical disability, or emotional and behavioral difficulties). This information enables us to make the necessary accommodations needed to meet the needs of your group.

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TNC to Go for 1st & 2nd Grade Groups

TNC to Go programs are designed to be taught at your location, however you can also schedule a field trip to Tenafly Nature Center to participate in these same experiences.

TNC to Go Pricing

 60-Minute Individual Class

 (<30 students)

 90-Minute Individual Class

 (<30 students)

  60-Minute Assembly

 (>30 students)

 1st Program (NJ & NY)  $200  $225  $350
 1st Program (NYC boroughs)  $325*  $350*  $475*
 Consecutive Programs  $125  $150  $300
  • There is no additional charge for teachers and aides.
  • *Additional fee is included to the first program fee for all New York City boroughs visits to cover NYC permit requirements.
  • A mileage charge of the current IRS rate per mile round trip is added to the program fee if the location is outside of Tenafly.
  • One parking space must be provided near the entrance of your location (if no parking is available at your site then a fee will be added to cover any associated garage fees).
  • Consecutive programs are programs held one right after another, for different classes, in the same school with no more than a 60 minute break between two of the programs.
  • Classes with more than 30 students will be charged the assembly fees. An assembly program is one program, held for multiple classes, in one location, and at one time.
  • If your funds are limited, please consider applying for a scholarship (we strive to make nature accessible to everyone).

    Current TNC To Go Programs (All programs are 60-90 minutes):

    1. Animal Adaptations (90 minutes required)
      How do animals thrive in such varied environments as deep oceans, harsh deserts, dense rain forests, and the frigid polar caps? Through skull examinations and a visit with TNC education animals, students will discover the adaptations animals depend on for their survival and success.

    2. Creatures of the Night
      Do you know if you are nocturnal, diurnal, or crepuscular? Join educators from the Tenafly Nature Center and find out! Through live animal demonstrations, learn about local species that inhabit the dark. From owls to opossums, learn about the amazing adaptations creatures posses to roam the nighttime landscape.

    3. Heavenly Herps
      “Herps” (reptiles and amphibians) are among the most under-appreciated and misunderstood species of the animal world. This program will introduce students to live snakes, frogs, salamanders and turtles and highlight the characteristics which distinguish between reptiles and amphibians.

    4. Incredible Invertebrates
      Students meet several live specimens as they learn what makes an insect different from other invertebrates By observing life stages and adaptations, students will learn how unique each creature is and why they are important to the environment and people alike.

    5. Oogling Owls
      Students learn how these nocturnal raptors have adapted to night flight, as they observe our live resident owl. Your class will learn about NJ’s owls’ status by discussing the pros and cons of human interactions with these powerful and efficient predators.

    6. Rapp’n with Raptors

      Students will observe live raptors up close and learn about their behavior, physiology, adaptations, ecological importance and natural history. Hands-on artifacts and demonstrations will capture the imagination of young and old.

    7. The World Beneath Our Feet
      A hole in the ground is always mysterious as it invites curiosity and wonder. Learn about the creatures that live underground as we shed some light on the mysteries under our feet. Discover what other unseen organisms might share this world and how they affect our lives from below.
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