10/6/11 South Side School’s 6th Grade Class

By Trish Childers

On October 5, 2011, teacher Julie Nelson brought the Southside School’s 6th grade science class to the South Fork Nature Center. There were 32 students along with six adult helpers.

The students were split up into groups so that each group was able to experience all four sessions. Our goal was to let the students see how their studies in the classroom fit into the organisms and environment of SFNC. Southside School

Each of the following Docents held a session:

Larry Bintliff was the coordinator for the day and conducted a walk in the woods along trails. Jim Solomon talked about insect and plant life at South Fork and showed examples from collections.

Steve Smith discussed the scientific names of plants and trees and covered leaf identification. Karen Smith and Marguerite Dory encouraged the students to write and keep a journal for their observations and experience in the out-of-doors.

Dan Smith discussed bird habitats, shelter, and predators. He also talked about the comparison of the fall changes in the trees and the changes in the birds at South Fork. Ed Wood and Janet Hill also helped during the sessions.



Students, teachers and Docents alike all had a great time, shared lunch together and enjoyed the warmth from the potbelly stove in the cabin. Many stated they couldn’t wait for the next program.

A note from Julie Nelson Southside Bee Branch Elementary School:

Thank you so much for the wonderful day at SFNC. My science classes had fun AND learned much in the process! From the nature walks to the bird talks, from the bug man to the journal ladies, the day was a great success. Being able to extend the learning of chemical and physical reactions outside the classroom helps my students realize that what they learn isn’t just found in the books we use, but all around them! A trip such as the one you planned helps my students realize that there IS a reason for what we are learning.


Again, thanks for all the help. Our trip was a pleasure and we look forward to returning, perhaps in the spring.

Julie` Nelson

6th Grade

Southside Bee Branch Elementary School