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Fourth Grade Adventures!

Fourth Grade Adventures!

Last month, our fourth graders embarked on their annual overnight outdoor exploration trip up north to Sonora in Gold Country. Each day was filled with many types of nature and outdoor based activities to help students connect to their surroundings and learn more about the natural world around them. Students also partook in different classes, both indoors and outdoors, focused on immersion and skill building. Through a series of experiences, students connected the lessons learned in their social studies classes to the real world realities of a Gold Rush era California. 

Students also took classes at the Sierra Outdoor School which ranged from lessons indoors in a traditional classroom setting, to outdoor treks and adventures into the wilderness to delve deeper into the magic of outdoor education. In their classes, students were able to peer into the science of the outdoors with owl pellet dissection. They also visited Columbia, an old town rich with history during the gold rush era, and they reflected on their history lessons by exploring the realities of classroom life for students, like themselves, during the time of the gold rush. Our fourth graders even got to take a ‘class’ in a historically accurate classroom where Mr. Alejandro lovingly volunteered as the ‘dunce’ of the group, which got quite a few laughs. 

Students also explored different locations nearby, including adventuring to giant sequoia trees. They panned  for gold, and ended their days with nature walks while learning about their natural night vision- which they then used to go stargazing in the woods. Needless to say, students and teachers alike were amazed at the breath-taking sight of a night sky filled with stars, a rare treat for Bay Area residents due to the light pollution we experience.

A special part of learning at Episcopal Day is the ability for students to partake in hands-on learning activities that help connect their classroom lessons to the world around them. The fourth grade trip to Gold Country allowed students to both experience first hand, and immerse  themselves within California’s rich state history. The trip is the culmination of our students’ California social studies unit, and just before leaving for their trip, students dove into the painful histories behind California’s missions and the realities of the Gold Rush for the native population that had inhabited the state prior to settler expansion. 

What an incredible experience this was for our students and the team of educators that accompanied them! Scroll through the gallery below for some photos from their time.


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