Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Fullerton Arboretum.

The Fullerton Arboretum is a wonderful place where students can experience varying plant communities, take walks, explore and gain insight of what types of plants can be found through out the world. The Arboretum offers 26 acres of diverse plant life and a potting shed which has annual plant sales and offers classes for all ages.

Located at:

1900 Associated Road
Fullerton, Ca 92831

(657) 278-3407

Hours of operation: 8-4:30pm

What would I need to do to adequately prepare my students before the visit?

Prior to our visit to the Arboretum, as a class we will be reviewing all of the plant communities which can be found at the Arboretum. Within each plant community plants have varying sizes of leaves and special traits which enable them to adapt in varying environments. This would relate to our science project where we will be discussing the parts of the plant and how a plant gets food and uses sunlight. This science project would be completed prior to the field trip and would be documented in a science journal. While on the field trip students will be taking notes to incorporate into their journals as a conclusion to our prior project. As the teacher I will need to make a reservation for our class to have a guided tour by a naturalist through the arboretum.

Before our visit we will also be taking a "virtual" tour of the Arboretum. Following is a link to the virtual tours which we will be completing together in class. This will give us the opportunity to review the site and what it has to offer, as well as offer the children an opportunity to have been exposed to some of the data we will be learning about prior to our visit. Imagery and text will be reviewed with all children, providing opportunities for individuals which may need additional processing time or assistance in obtaining the information. A packet which contains pictures of the various regions and text describing these regions will be provided to all English Learners as well as any struggling students. Comprehension and understanding will be the emphasis prior to going on the field trip so that our adventure can build on their knowledge.

As the teacher I will also need to make a reservation for our class to have a guided tour by a naturalist through the Arboretum. We will also need to discuss class rules while on a field trip as well as what is appropriate to bring with you and wear.


After our field trip an option for the students could be to post a reflection on our class blog! As the teacher I would initate and model what my overall observations were for the field trip. I would also list a questions which the students could respond to. This gives the students a chance to integrate technology into their projects and have an opportunity to be exposed to blogging. Time would be alloted in class for all studentds to access the computer, ecspecially those who do not have one readily available!


My overall experience at the Fullerton Arboretum was eye opening. We were able to see desert plant life to woodland environments. I loved transitioning from these two drastic environments and could tell instantly we were entering a new plant community just by the difference in temperature and moisture in the air. The desert area was hot and the plants were sparse while the woodlands provide shade and was very cool. Another interesting fact was the varying size of leaves in the different communities. The tropical forest had VERY large leaves while the chapperle had small leaves.

As a student, please note 2 interesting facts which relate to our recent projects on plants, their environments and what we saw at the Arboretum!

Images of the site!

The entry to the Fullerton Arboretum. Park in the front lot and walk in!

Entry Waterfall! BEAUTIFUL!

Informative Signage and a map of the Arboretum!

The Woodlands....so relaxing and cool!

The HOT arid desert!

Plant Identification!

What will I do to debrief the students after I have attended the field trip?

Prior to leaving the site, I would have the students get into one big group and we would discuss what we saw and how this applies to our knowledge of plant communities and different types of plants. From there I would ask the students to share their observations, comments and something they found interesting with a partner in a pair share activity. We would regroup after a few minutes and I would randomly select students to share what was discussed with their partner. Once back in the classroom the students final activity would be to write in their science journals something that they enjoyed as well as describe one of the plant communities and what makes the plants special in this community.

What resource materials are available to assist my preparation?

The resource materials I will be using to assist in preparation for this unit will consist of text books, online resources, plant ID books, maps, science journals and picture books. As a class we will review a map of California and the varying regions and plant communities. These plant communities are indicative of the land which surrounds them so this will be a great point to assist students in deciphering where plant communities can be found! We will also be discussing the differences in plants and what makes certain plants more adaptable in the desert and not the forest. This will be discovered through plant id books as well as online resources. The following are some links which will assist in my preparation and can also be great resources for the students.







What special benefits could my students gain from vistiting the Fullerton Arboretum?

The Fullerton Arboretum is a great resource! There are not many places where students can visit one site which houses numerous plant communities and have the opportunity to travel through each community to gain insight as to the plant types, climate and overall topography. Being able to experience the look and feel of the Mojave Desert and meander down a decomposed granite trail to the Woodland Forest is an unforgettable experience. My students will gain an understanding of the various plant communities that can be found in California as well as some of the plants within those communities. We will also have the opportunity to have one of the Arboretums special nature guides give our class a complete tour and educational briefing of the history of the site as well as some great information regarding the plant and animals found in this native areas.

Doing our part...Protecting the Earth!

This would be a great integration into this unit! What can students do in regards to conservation, being water wise and leaving a smaller footprint on our planet! There are several great resources out there. A few of my favorites are the following:

1) Conservation techniques: drought resistant plants, recycling, compost at your home, drip irrigation, using local products, etc.

2) Water wise: low pressure facets and shower heads, drip irrigation, aware of water consumption

3) Prefabricated houses

4) What is your footprint?