Click on the Lesson Plans link to peruse our free lesson plans online or click on the appropriate link below to download directly.
Each extensive lesson plan includes experiments and activities for three age groups and worksheets as necessary. We hope you will find them a valuable tool to enhance your trip to the caverns. You will need Adobe Acrobat to open the files. If you don't already have Adobe Acrobat, click the "Get Adobe Acrobat" button to download this free software.
STATION 1: Cavern Tour
To qualify for our school discount prices, field trips must be booked in advance by calling 209-736-2708.
School groups must arrive at least 15 minutes before tour departure to allow time to use the restroom and assemble in one or more group(s).
This popular 45-minute tour is suitable for every student age. Professionally guided, the tour descends through well-lighted marble passages into the magnificent natural wonder. Descending down 235 stairs to a depth of 165 feet below the ground, the tour ends on the spot were scientific excavations revealed the bones of prehistoric people who had fallen into the cavern thousands of years ago.
Guides explain the history and geology of the cavern, and discuss the explorations that have traced the cavern to its current depth of 410 feet. Tours include the experience of natural cave lighting -total darkness! The 165-foot rope Rappel and the challenging 3-hour wild cavern Adventure Trip are available at discounted rates to groups of students over 12 years of age at Moaning Cavern. (These discounts are not available on weekends or holidays.)
SCHEDULING: Allow 1 hour per group of 25 students.
Allow 1 hour per group of 25 students.
Allow 20 minutes per group of 25 students.
Allow 1 hour for 40 students.
Allow 30 minutes for 20 students.
Allow 5 minutes per person.
Don't forget lunch! We have outside picnic tables under shady trees where you are welcome to eat your lunch, making for another station through which your students can rotate.
All stations are optional. More stations allow time for hands on activities by larger numbers of students as they rotate through each activity.
Please call us. We will be happy to assist you in determining the very best configuration of activities for your school group. Locally our number is 209-736-2708, or out of area, toll free 866-762-2837.
STATION 2: Gem Mining/Jr. Prospector
At the nearly 200-foot long flume system, students start with their own bag of mining "rough" that is guaranteed to contain lots of gemstones and minerals if you purchase the gem mining back, or gold plated and copper nuggets if you purchase the Junior Prospector bag. Pouring it into a screen bottomed box, flowing water sifts out the dirt leaving the goodies behind. A display with samples of the 20 possible gemstones that can be found in the gem mining bags is available for students to compare and identify their finds. Each student gets a free postcard showing the same display. Gold Prospector bags can be panned out using a gold pan, or they can be filtered out using the screen bottomed box.
SCHEDULING: Allow 20 minutes per group of 25 students.
STATION 3: Climbing Tower
Our new, custom designed climbing tower is 32 feet high and includes climbing routes from beginner to challenging. It's suitable and fun for all age groups. The tower can accommodate 10 students at a time, and includes a belay system - just climb and then jump back for a smooth, automatic descent. Participants are geared up in climbing harnesses, then clipped on to the route of their choice. Routes include life-like rock features and overhangs, making it one of the most competitive climbing surfaces available today. Students get 2 climbs each.
SCHEDULING: Allow 1 hour per group of 40 students.
STATION 4: Visitor Center
Small, but packed with high quality science and nature merchandise, along with some historical displays, the visitor center makes a great station for 20 students at a time. With books, science kits, rocks, fossils, jewelry, wildlife and souvenir merchandise, there is something here to delight every student and teacher!
SCHEDULING: Allow 30 minutes per group of 20 students.