Making School a Walk in the Park

By Sarah Boucher, Publisher Macaroni Kid Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and Muskegon April 15, 2020

Our school has put together a remote learning plan for our kiddos.  I'm certainly thankful that there is a framework to help me keep them on track academically for next year. However, we're also quickly finding ways to incorporate learning into every day activities to break up the day and have some fun adventures.  We made a trip to Rosy Mound Natural Area and covered the subjects of math,  social studies, and science during our two-hour visit.  Plus there was the added benefit of physical education as we walked the trails and trekked up and down the stairs as well as reading all of the signs.  We plan on visiting many parks to continue our experiential learning and get plenty of fresh air, exercise, and sunshine too! 

Here's our lesson plan!  


  • Estimating the number of steps in each flight on the path
  • Using addition and subtraction to determine how close our estimate was to the actual number of steps 
  • Looking at the map and determining which fraction of the trail we had covered based on where we started and the "you are here point"
  • Estimating the amount of time it would take us to walk the trail
  • Calculating how long we were on the trail by using our start and end times


  • Learning about the different animals that can be found in the natural area
  • Learning about the experiment happening with the deer and their eating habits
  • Looking for animals during our walk and talking about animal habitats
  • Talking about natural land forms and erosion as it relates to the dunes
  • Looking for trees that have fallen and hypothesizing about what might have happened

Social Studies:

  • Map reading
  • Talking about being a good citizen by following park rules
  • Discussing the importance of having parks and other resources available to us
  • Talking about the role of the park "rangers" and other careers that help protect and serve the community
  • Talking about the importance of following social distancing rules and what could happen if people do not respect the rules

Through everyday experiences, it's fun to facilitate learning in practical ways, and also make memories along the way.  I'm sure this is the first of many visits to area parks. Perhaps next time we'll bring the dogs along on our walk!  

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