Fern and Moss Field Trip


Investigating the Life Cycle of a Fern and Moss — How do they change over time?

Read Alouds: 

To Be Like the Sun by Susan Marie Swanson

999 Tadpoles by Ken Kimura

A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston


  • Science journal or blank paper
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils (optional)
  • Clipboard or something hard to write on outside
  • Something to sit on (such as a cushion, log, carpet square, etc.) (optional)
  • Internet or other field guides
  • An adult or someone in your family to help

What to do:

  • Head outside and find a fern or moss that you would like to study.
    • You can typically find ferns or mosses:
      • In shady places
      • On the forest floor- they are often ground cover
      • Near trees – at their base
    • Things you should take with you:
      • Science Journal
      • Pencil
      • Colored pencils
      • Clip board
      • Cushion or something to sit on
      • A drink and a snack
    • Set up a sit-spot where you can come once a week to look at your plant.  
    • Label a page in your Science Journal with the date and draw what you see.
      • Be sure to pay attention to details!
      • Look close to the ground; is there anything growing that is very small?
      • What different parts of the plant can you find?
    • Come back to your fern next week and add a new page to your journal.  Draw what is new to your plant.
    • Visit your plant throughout the summer and into the fall. 
      • What changes do you see happening?  
      • What stages of the plant life cycle do you think you discovered?
      • How do you think this plant reproduces?
    • Post pictures of your Science Journal on Facebook and tag us @VINS.VT!

Resource for parents:

Contact education@vinsweb.org with questions or comments.