Giant redwood trees in Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Image credit: Allie Caulfield


This program is available two times on Thursday mornings January-April. We recommend you plan a visit with a buddy teacher from your school.

We have Bilingual Educators! Let us know if any students or chaperones in your class might benefit from activities taught in Cantonese, Mandarin, or Spanish.

By the end of this field trip program students will be able to:
  • Identify specific adaptations that allow redwoods to survive well in their environments

  • Gain awareness of a species that only exists in California

  • Use weather and landform patterns to predict ranges of where coastal redwoods live

About the Program

How are redwoods able to grow so tall and live for so long when most other trees can't? In this program students take on the role of working as ecologists. Their mission is to solve the mystery of the giant trees by collecting evidence from different tree specimens using various scientific tools and practices. Students will rotate through investigation stations that focus on how trees have adaptations to deal with pests, fire and water issues that exist within a tree's environment.

Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations: Make observations and/or measurements to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • LS4.C: Adaptation: For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • ESS2.D: Weather and Climate: Scientists record patterns of the weather across different times and areas so that they can make predictions about what kind of weather might happen next.

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Structure and Function: The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s).

Related Performance Expectations

Remember, performance expectations are not a set of instructional or assessment tasks. This field trip activity is just one of many that could help prepare your students to perform the following hypothetical tasks that demonstrate their understanding:

  • 3-LS4-3: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
Grades: 4th Grade - 5th Grade
Program Duration: 70 minutes
Capacity: 35
Price: Free
Time Slots: 9:30 am, 11:30 am