Exploration Name: Blue Hills
Pre-Exploration, Exploration, Post-Exploration.
- Pre-Exploration Activities
Exploration: The Blue Hills Hike
- Students share stories with their team members about times they have been hiking or just out in nature.
- Get students thinking with questions like:
- What is different about being in a forest?
- What can you see? Hear? Smell?
- What words do you associate with a forest? (green, damp, wood, wild,
- The Team Leader should record these observations and word choices for
use when the students return from the hike.
- Students make hypotheses to test when they are in the Blue Hills.
- How many different kinds of trees will they find? Birds?
- Will there be many other visitors to the Reservation and will they
mostly be from out-of-town or locals?
- All hypotheses should be recorded in order to be tested during the
- Students on the team should be appointed different data gathering
tasks during the hike. For instance: two students work together to
record different kinds of leaves and two others interview any visitors
the team meets.
- Team leaders should go over the rules of the Park before their teams
get on the buses. Discuss why these rules may be necessary. Why do we
have to protect natural resources?
- The theme for the day should be "Take Only Photos, Leave Only Footprints!"
Post Exploration Activities
- All students should find and record their pulse and heart rates before and after the hike.
- At some point in the hike, the team should stop for a moment and use their senses. The team leader should facilitate a moment of silence in which students try to first see, then hear, then smell as much as they can.
- Each team should use their map and compass to make sure they take the correct trails.
- Team members should rotate the responsibility for taking pictures.
- Any data necessary for testing proposed hypotheses should be gathered.
- Teams should stop periodically to discuss if the terrain is what they expected and to share any thoughts or descriptions of what they see.
- At the top of the Observatory, students should try to locate specific Boston landmarks.
- Review the list of words and expectations that the team made before going. Make any necessary changes or additions.
- Using these and other words to describe the Blue Hills, write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper in which you describe your experience to the Blue Hills. Do you think this is a valuable resource for the community? Why or why not?
- Using these and other words to describe the Blue Hills, create a poem or a story about your experiences there.
- Tally the data collected in the Blue Hills and compare with the team's hypotheses.
- Present the data in a summary report on the Blue Hills: its attractions (varieties of wildlife, plantlife, etc.) and its visitors.
Go back to Explorations Page