Unit Plan: Field Study – Forest

Science / Grade 4

Big Ideas


  • All living things sense and respond to their environment.
Essential Questions

Students will keep considering…

  • How do living things sense, respond, and adapt to stimuli in their environment?
  • How do I observe nature? What does using my senses in nature look, sound, feel, taste and smell like?
  • How do my senses compare to the senses of other plants & animals?
  • How is sensing and responding related to interdependence within ecosystems?
Evaluative Criteria

Assessing prior knowledge:

Share “What is a rainforest?”

Students will demonstrate their knowledge, skills & understanding by:

  • describing the temperate rainforest ecosystem using sensory details
  • pair-sharing observations & questions
  • sharing in small groups or large group examples of how they can be stewards of the forest and nearby nature
  • personal reflection on the importance of forests
  • making a personal connection to nature (solo sit, mindfulness walk)
Monitoring Progress

Teacher will monitor progress:
Teachers can monitor progress through ongoing formative assessment including but not limited to:

  • Class discussion
  • Group and pair discussions



Grade 4 Backpack (Get Outdoors!): Sensory Warm-up, Rainbow chips, Sound Mapping, Instant Cameras, Forest Cologne)

ABC’s we see

I notice, I wonder, It Reminds me

Walk and Talk

Tiny Treasures

Storytelling: The Great Blanket of Moss, Legend of the Cedar Tree

Ethnic Plant Guide

Walk of Wonder


How will teachers and their students reflect on and evaluate the completed project?

Teacher Reflection

  • What aspects of the field study went well?
  • What did students struggle with?
  • What did you struggle with?
  • What would you add/revise the next time you taught this field study?
  • What connections can I make back to my school learning community?
  • Challenge your class or school to get involved in a meaningful action project that encourages forest stewardship.
  • My Special Place (Get Outdoors p. 59) Students choose and explore a special natural place in their schoolyard, park or other area. They describe the local environment using sensory details; they reflect on its importance, and they discover their own connections to it. Suggested Reading List about Special Places and Connections (p. 63).

Unit Overview






Forest – Senses


Unit Overview

Students venture through the Cheakamus Centre’s extensive trail networks to experience the biodiversity of the coastal temperate rainforest through hands-on sensory awareness activities. These activities increase the ability to observe and be present in nature, emphasize getting to know local species and their habitats, and inspire local action and stewardship. In addition to learning about the interconnectedness of the plant and animal species, students will also explore human interactions with the forest environment, and the important role they play in our lives.





Unit Duration

2 hours


Related Big Ideas


The following resources are made available through the British Columbia Ministry of Education. For more information, please visit BC’s New Curriculum.


Big Ideas

The Big Ideas consist of generalizations and principles and the key concepts important in an area of learning. The Big Ideas represent what students will understand at the completion of the curriculum for their grade. They are intended to endure beyond a single grade and contribute to future understanding.

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Core Competencies

orangecommunicationCommunications Competency

The set of abilities that students use to impart and exchange information, experiences and ideas, to explore the world around them, and to understand and effectively engage in the use of digital media

bluethinkingThinking Competency

The knowledge, skills and processes we associate with intellectual development

greensocialSocial Competency

The set of abilities that relate to students’ identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Curricular Competencies & Content

Curricular Competencies are the skills, strategies, and processes that students develop over time. They reflect the “Do” in the Know-Do-Understand model of curriculum. The Curricular Competencies are built on the thinking, communicating, and personal and social competencies relevant to disciplines that make up an area of learning.

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Additional Resources

First People's Principles of Learning

To read more about First People’s Principles of Learning, please click here.

For classroom resources, please visit the First Nations Education Steering Committee.