Students listening to an environmental education lesson on the prairie.

Environmental Education at Neal Smith

Interested in a field trip? Check our online registration for current hours and to schedule a visit.

Neal Smith staff provide three types of environmental education field trips:

Partner School

The partner school program provides select elementary schools recurring, fully ranger-led visits. This applies to all classes K-5th, who are eligible for up to two visits per school year featuring ranger-led, standards-based lessons.

Our current partner schools are Prairie City Elementary and Stowe Elementary

We are not accepting new partner schools at this time.

Partner Teacher

Similar to the partner school program, but for individual teachers. 

Interested in becoming a partner teacher? Attend one of our teacher workshops! After completion, all participants become partner teachers eligible for priority field trip scheduling, ranger-led introductions and one ranger-led activity per school year.

Check back for announcements on future teacher workshops.


Refuge staff provides schedules, materials, resources and ideas for field trips, but self-led groups are expected to lead their own programs when visiting Neal Smith. Ranger-led intros may be available, subject to staff availability.

Lesson Plans

Our K-5th education programs follow lessons correlated to the Iowa Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Please see below for outlines of the lesson plans by grade level (note that lessons correspond to particular seasons).


First Grade

Second Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade

Related Documents

Lesson Plan