Learning on the Line: First Grade Park Study

In the fall, our first grade Social Studies curriculum looks at parks and why they're important to the community. We go on field trips to different parks around NYC, and this year we were fortunate enough to have a partnership with Friends of the High Line.

Our Social Studies Park Unit was enhanced by the classroom visits and guided tours from educator, Katie Henry. Although many students were familiar with the High Line, the children developed a deeper understanding of the importance of the High Line to our community. Through engaging photos, Katie taught the students about the history of the park. Seeing photos of what the High Line used to be when it was a working railroad, and then how abandoned train tracks transformed into the beautiful park it is today, gave my first graders a greater appreciation for this unique park in our neighborhood.

"I didn't know the High Line was a park until we learned about it in school. I just thought it was something in the sky. Now I know the High Line is a park because a bunch of people turned the train tracks into a park." - Aiden
Photo credit: PS 41

Our guided tour of the High Line provided students with an interactive experience where they learned about park design, as students looked closely at the different parts of the park, thought about what materials were used to create the park, and studied the many types of lighting on the park.

"When we went on the trip, I liked the High Line because I liked the plants and how they were growing on the train tracks." - Hope
Photo credit: PS 41

One of the most memorable experiences for my students this year was when they got to design their own park structures. Katie visited our class to teach students how to design their own parks, just like the park designers who created the High Line. Students brainstormed what they wanted their park to have, planned the design, and then sketched their park. Once students created their park design, they got to use a variety of materials to build their park structure and then described their parks' features.

For our Parks Unit Culmination, the students' park structures and writings were displayed around the classroom. Families were invited, and everyone took a "museum walk" around the room to look at the different parks the students created.

"I liked building the parks because I liked using the materials like Model Magic and Popsicle sticks." - Ruby
Photo credit: PS 41

Want to know what a field trip on the park is like? Check out this short video highlighting students' explorations, conversations, and discoveries traveling the High Line.

Register your field trip on the High Line this spring!

Spring trips run through June 24, 2016. Title 1 Schools are eligible for a 50% discount.

Hurry! Space is limited. If you have any questions regarding the booking process, please email grouptrips@thehighline.org. We hope to see you soon!


Major Support for High Line Education comes from Deutsche Bank. Additional Funding comes from The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston. This program is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council—with special thanks to Council Member Corey Johnson, Council Member Mark Levine, and the Manhattan Delegation of the City Council.


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