Educational Programs

photo of a ranger educating children about a tree

We invite teachers to bring your students to Queen Wilhelmina State Park. This online handbook was prepared to help you discover the variety of programs offered at Queen Wilhelmina State Park for schools. Each of the listed programs supports the state curriculum standards. If your class needs a talk or activity about a theme that is not listed, we will make every reasonable effort to either develop it, or to find another park that would meet your need. Please look over this list and see how Queen Wilhelmina State Park can partner with your school.

Schools have connected their students to the park for a long time. The first field trip we know of was in 1925, long before we became a state park. The scenic views and beautiful forest setting were enough of an attraction to make a trip here worthwhile. They still are. Add in interpretive programs that reinforce school frameworks, miniature train ride, putt-putt golf, trails, playground, picnic area, and full size steam engine and you have the ingredients for a field trip with the right combination of learning and fun.

The interpretive programs listed in the on-line handbook, playground, picnic area, and trails are offered by the park staff and are free. The miniature train and mini-golf are private concessions of the park [NOTE: Fees apply to ride the train or play mini-golf.] You can create your own field trip to meet both recreational and educational needs. To make reservations for one of the listed programs, call 479-394-2863 or email queenwilhelmina@arkansas.com. To contact the train/golf concession call 479-437-3331 or 479-394-4221. You can do one or all of the activities. Just call the numbers of the corresponding activity and make your reservation. We often divide large groups and rotate them through several activities. The park staff and the concessionaires work together to make a memorable field trip for the kids.

The weather can be an issue with any outdoor activities at Queen Wilhelmina State Park. Here atop Rich Mountain at 2,681-feet above sea level it is usually five to 10 degrees cooler than in the local communities below. Mountain breezes usually accompany cooler temperatures. The kids need to be reminded of this and to dress warmer than they would for school. Even in May, a jacket and long pants are recommended.

Many of the programs can be presented at the school. We make every effort to visit local schools and reservations can be made by calling 479-394-2863 or email queenwilhelmina@arkansas.com . We will get back to you as soon as possible. We need to know:

  1. Your name
  2. The school name
  3. Telephone number or e-mail address
  4. Grade and number of students
  5. Date and time you would like program

If there are no scheduling conflicts, we will make the reservation and develop a plan for the field trip. Depending on the activities, number and age of students, etc., it will determine where we will meet you in the park and how we can best serve your group. If we are already booked, we will work out an alternative date if possible.

Select from one of the programs listed below.

Animal Adaptation

Objective: To show that each species has physical and behavioral adaptations that ensures its survival.

Program Description: Through the use of real "stuffed" animals, pantomime, and games, concepts of animal adaptation will be revealed. Program requires students to use critical thinking skills.

Grade Level: Any

Length: 30 minutes

Group Size: One class to entire grade level

Arkansas Frameworks

K-4 Science

LS.4.4.1:  Recognize environmental adaptations of plants and animals.

LS.4.4.2: Illustrate the interdependence of organisms in an ecosystem.

5-8 Science

LS.3.6.4: Investigate careers, scientists, and historical breakthroughs related to adaptations and selective breeding.

LS.3.6.5: Describe behavioral adaptations of organisms to the environment:  hibernation, estivation, tropism, territorial behavior, migration.<

LS.3.6.7: Describe the following structural adaptations for survival in the environment:  coloration, mimicry, odor glands, beaks, feet, wings, fur, ears, spines, teeth, thorns, characteristics of seeds.

LS.3.8.13: Identify basic ideas related to biological evolution: diversity of species, variations within species, adaptations, natural selection, extinction of a species.

Animal Tracks

Objective: To make students aware of the characteristics of the tracks of animals that live in western Arkansas.

Program Description: After identifying the tracks of various species found in western Arkansas, the children will make track prints using rubber animal tracks.

Grade Level: K-3

b 20 - 30 minutes

Group Size: 1 class

Arkansas Frameworks

K-4 Science

  • LS.2.1.1:  Classify animals into major groups according to their structure: mammals, birds, and fish.

Bats

Objective: To introduce students to bats and their special adaptations.

Program Description: After a short discussion of the benefits, and possible dangers, of bats, students will participate in an interactive game that will show how bats use echolocation.

Grade Level: Grade 2

Length: 30 minutes

Group Size: Two classes

Arkansas Frameworks

K-4 Science

    LS.2.K.3:  Match parents and offspring.

    LS.2.1.1:  Classify animals according to common characteristics (e.g., movement, body coverings, diet).

    LS.2.2.1  Classify animals into major groups according to their structure: mammals, birds, and fish.

    LS.2.2.2  Differentiate among herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores.

    LS.2.3.1  Classify animals as vertebrates and invertebrates according to their structure.

    LS.2.4.1  Classify vertebrates into major subgroups: mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles.

Bears

Objective: To expose students to the habits, foods, habitat, and history of the black bear.

Program Description: Through storytelling, puppet shows (K-2 only), and a real "stuffed" bear, students will learn how a once common animal almost became extinct but was saved through wildlife management. Along the way, the students will learn about the habits, foods, and habitat of the black bear.

Grade Level: K-1; 2 and up

Length: 30 minutes

Group Size: Two classes

Arkansas Frameworks

K-4 Science

    LS.2.K.3:  Match parents and offspring.

    LS.2.K.4:  Identify basic needs of plants and animals:  food, water, light, air, and space.

    LS.2.1.1:  Classify animals according to common characteristics (e.g., movement, body coverings, diet).

    LS.2.2.1:  Classify animals into major groups according to their structure: mammals, birds,and fish.

Butterflies

Objective: To explore the life cycle of the most beautiful creature of the insect world.

Program Description: Students will learn about different types of butterflies and their host plants through the use of visual aids and discussion. May include a craft activity.

Grade Level: Any

Length: 30 minutes

Group Size: Two classes

Arkansas Frameworks

K-4 Science

    LS.3.K.2: Illustrate complete metamorphosis (e.g., butterfly, frog).

    LS.3.1.2: Compare and contrast complete metamorphosis and incomplete metamorphosis.

5-8 Science

    LS.3.6.5: Describe behavioral adaptations of organisms to the environment:  hibernation, estivation, tropism, territorial behavior, migration.

    LS.3.6.6: Differentiate between innate and learned behavior. Innate behaviors: migration, web spinning, defensive posture, communication, and imprinting. Learned behaviors: speaking a language, using tools, and hunting skills.

    LS.3.6.7: Describe the following structural adaptations for survival in the environment: coloration, mimicry, odor glands, beaks, feet, wings, fur, ears, spines, teeth, thorns, and characteristics of seeds.


Native American Games

Objective: To enable the student to understand the similarities and differences between children of Pre-Colombian Native American cultures and modern children.

Program Description: Students will play chunkey, Zuni Indian toy, and several other games requiring eye-hand coordination played by various Native American people.

Grade Level: 3-6

Length: 30 minutes

Group Size: One class

Arkansas Frameworks (We are correlating these programs to the July 1, 2015 frameworks. Updates are coming soon.)

K-4 Arkansas History

  • TCC.1.4: Describe how history is a continuing story of people, places, and events.
  • TCC.2.4: Explain how people, places, events, tools, institutions, attitudes, values, and ideas are the result of what has happened in the past.

5-8 Social Studies

  • PPE.1.2: Demonstrate an understanding that one's identity is connected to ideas and traditions from the past and from other cultures.

Pioneers

Objective: To allow the students to empathize with the people of the late 1800s and early 1900s and to understand some of the differences in their lives and the present.

Program Description: Students will observe and learn about a number of pioneer tools, hear a story from the McGuffey Reader, and engage in several interactive activities. Best done in the park. Can be done at school if an appropriate site is available.

Grade Level: 5th

Length: 30 minutes

Group Size: Two classes

Arkansas Frameworks (We are correlating these programs to the July 1, 2015 frameworks. Updates are coming soon.)

5-8 Arkansas History

  • TCC.1.4: Analyze how past decisions and events affect subsequent decisions throughout Arkansas's history.
  • PPE.2.1: Analyze how humans have adapted to, altered, and been affected by physical environments in Arkansas.
  • PDC.1.2: Assess how goods and services are limited by available natural and human resources requiring individuals and societies to make choices to satisfy wants and needs.