Last Friday, Friends School of Minnesota 5th and 6th graders took a trip called “Big River Journey”. This was an extension of the field trips that 6th graders took last year as part of our “River Year.”  We started the day at Fort Snelling State Park doing land-based activities before boarding a riverboat for a science-based afternoon onboard the boat. We ended the day at Harriet Island in downtown St Paul.

Activities included:
Soldier Hike
Cultural Crossroads
Floodplain Forest Hike
Aquatic Invertebrates
River Birds
River Stewardship
River Geology
Riverboat Piloting


5-6 river trip 2
Friends School of Minnesota 5th and 6th graders


5-6 river trip
Friends School of Minnesota 5th and 6th graders


river numbers board
Mississippi River numbers for 5th and 6th grade Big River unit.


FSMN 5th and 6th graders board a riverboat to explore the Mississippi River.
FSMN 5th and 6th graders board a riverboat to explore the Mississippi River.


river map
First page of student journals. Students continued writing in their river journals after the trip. They recorded river number facts, birds seen, drawings, general observations, and answers to the question ” how is the Mississippi River being used?”

This themed day trip is one of many interdisciplinary trips in the 5th and 6th grade curriculum. Other trips have included a seven-mile Wilderness Inquiry Canoe trip between Minneapolis and St. Paul; Mill City Museum tour, activities and bridge walk; St. Paul Regional Water Services drinking water tour; Red Wing wastewater treatment plan tour; Coldwater Spring, National Park Service, Mississippi River Fund oak savannah and prairie restoration work; Fort Snelling State Park and Mississippi River Fund beach cleaning, buckthorn and garlic mustard removal; Minnesota River Valley National Wildlife Refuge; National Park Service boat trip journey to the Falls River; Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed district headquarters; Minnehaha Falls, Crosby Farm, Como Zoo and Conservatory. Read more about academics at Friends School of Minnesota on our website.