Education for Schools and Teachers


Schoolchildren exploring the Coastal Plain habitat garden with a guide.

The North Carolina Botanical Garden offers a variety of education programs for schools and other groups. These programs are hands-on explorations of plants and nature. All Field Trip and outreach programs are aligned with the Common Core and Essential Standards, and include lesson plans for teacher-led pre-visit and extension activities.

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Field Trip Programs

Caterpillar photo

The North Carolina Botanical Garden offers on-site, hands-on educational programs for school groups and other children's groups. Each program lasts about 60 minutes, and can be offered for 60 students at a time. Although each program is recommended for a certain grade level, they can be adapted for different ages of children.

Herbal Adventures: Recommended for Ages 4-6—In this program, students are led to 5 different stations in the Mercer Reeves Hubbard Herb Garden. At each station, students learn about one of the five senses, and they use their senses to explore nature. This is a multi-sensory experience for students, who will see, smell, hear, touch, and taste nature.

Flora Explorers: Recommended for 1st Grade Classes—This hands-on program is designed to teach students about the different parts of a plant, and how those parts play a role in helping the plant survive. Students have a chance to use Yellowroot (Xanthorrhiza simplicissima) as a crayon, make a bark rubbing, and taste sunflower seeds.

The Monarch's Journey: Recommended for 2nd Grade Classes—This program focuses on the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. Students learn about the egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult stage of the Monarch Butterfly and their unique relationship with Milkweed (Asclepias spp.). Teachers can choose to have this program taught using models of the life stages of the Monarch, or by using live animals at each of the Monarch’s life stages. The live animal option is only available May - September and requires an extra fee to cover the cost of live animals, currently $75.

From the Mountains to the Coast: Recommended for 3rd Grade Classes—In this lesson, students learn about the different geographic regions of North Carolina and how plant communities are shaped by the regions’ unique climates and soils. Students also have the opportunity to explore the different soils of the regions, learn about carnivorous plants and dissect the leaf of the carnivorous Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia spp.).

Native Plants, Native People: Recommended for 4th Grade Classes—This interdisciplinary lesson focuses on both Science and Social Studies. Students are introduced to American Indian tribes of the different regions of North Carolina. Students learn about their history, lifestyles, and the unique ways in which they used plants to meet their daily needs. This lesson aligns with the Essential Standards for Social Studies.

Ecosystem Expeditions: Recommended for 5th Grade Classes—In this lesson, students will learn some of the basic principles of ecology. Students learn about producers, consumers, and decomposers and their unique roles within an ecosystem. The students also get a chance to dissect an owl pellet as a way to better understand food webs.

General Tours of the Garden—The North Carolina Botanical Garden also offers tours of the Garden that can be general or focused on a particular topic.

students investigate the Carnivorous Plant Beds behind the Totten Center

Students investigate the Carnivorous Plant Beds behind the Totten Center

Field Trip Programs: Registration and Scheduling

We offer school field trips September 1 - November 18, 2016 and Marcy 15 - May 26, 2017. No field trips are available on Tuesdays.

New fee structure for any field trips scheduled on or after August 29, 2017. The fee for a field trip program is $2 per student with a minimum of $30 per program. Maximum capacity is 60 students. There is no fee for a Self-Guided Tour, however, registration at least four weeks in advance is required.

We require one chaperone for every five students.

In an effort to reach public schools that are most in need, we are offering a limited number of field trip fee waivers. Teachers from Title I schools can request a fee waiver while requesting a field trip through our online form.

To request an Field Trip Program, please fill out our online form.

If you have already scheduled your visit and have further questions, see our Preparing For Your Field Trip page.

Updated on August 30, 2016 at 02:16:24 pm.