Elms Environmental Education Center

1st Grade

Structure & Function of Plants & Animals

Overview: Students will investigate how plants and animals use different body parts to survive, grow, and meet their needs while hiking through various ecosystems, observing live animals, and playing games. Students will discover that individuals of the same kind of plant or animal are similar, but not exactly the same. Students will create shelters for their "Mini-Me's" to better understand how human problems can be solved by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them meet their needs.

NEW for 2018-2019: Greenwell, as a Maryland State Park, is a trash-free park! Lunches are now pack-in/pack-out.

No trash cans or bags, or trash removal service, is provided.

Please have students pack their trash back into their lunch boxes for recycling/composting/land-filling at home or school, or bring bags.

Leave No Trace for kids

Students studying plant material they collected

Sorting and classifying plants by structure and function.

playing a game about how different animals eat and move

Playing a game about the relationship between body part structure and function in other animals.

Students building fairy houses

Building shelters for Mini-Me's using plant materials.

Location: This field study is conducted by Elms Environmental Education Center educators at our partner site Greenwell State Park in Hollywood, MD. Any questions regarding the trip including scheduling and special concerns should be directed to Elms Environmental Education Center.

Typical Day (schedule is subject to change and may vary based on weather, transportation and needs of the individual class):

Bus pickup at school - 9:15am (8:45am for early schools)

Arrival at field study site. Welcome & Introduction

Morning Activities


Afternoon Activities

Review and Wrap-up

Bus departure from site - 2:15 pm (1:45 pm for early schools)

Chaperones: Chaperones are vital to the success of our field studies, serving as active program assistants and small group leaders. Approved volunteers are selected by the classroom teacher. Remember to pack your lunch and dress for a day outdoors. *Please set your phones to vibrate/silent during the field study.*

Prepare for Your Trip

What to Wear:

  • Dress for participation in outdoor activities and remember to choose clothes and shoes that can get wet and dirty.

  • Check the the weather for your field study site - Greenwell State Park in Hollywood, MD. Temperatures near the water can be 10 degrees COLDER (and more windy) than at home or school.

  • Layers are great for cold weather. Dress for the high temperature, and layer for the low.

  • Bring your rain gear when rain is expected.

  • Don't forget to pre-apply sun block and insect repellent before you leave home (if desired).

Food and Drink:

  • Pack your lunch in reusable containers, if possible.

  • NEW: Greenwell is a no-trash park. Lunches are now pack-in/pack-out.

  • Bring water to drink, in a reusable water bottle (labeled with your name), if possible.


  • $10