Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Author(s): Afrodita Fuentes
Field Trip - Teacher's Guide
SED 695B

View Larger Map 


Topics addressed: Ecology and Evolution

Biological diversity, habitats, reproduction cycles, birth anatomy and migration, fossils, etc.

Description of Field Trip

The Natural History Museum houses over 35 million spectacular and diverse specimen and artifacts covering 4.5 billion years of history. The museum is organized into a number of halls, for which you need more than one visit to explore. In this fieldtrip, students will be able to explore a number of exhibits including the African Mammals, North American Mammals, Marine Life, Chaparral, Marsh, birds, and the rainforest. A recurring theme throughout this visit is "form and function." In other words, specific physical adaptations in organisms may lead to successful food gathering, defense against predators, and reproduction in unique environments.

Plan on visiting the following exhibits:

Good to Know:

  • Teachers may visit the museum for free any time, with a teacher pass and ID.
  • For most districts, teachers need to contact their district before contacting the museum when planning fieldtrips. Have 3 prossible dates before calling the distric office. See school visits for more information.
  • All school groups visit the museum for free all year round.
  • If planning to visit the Pavillion of Wings or the Spider Pavillion, be prepare to pay $1 per person.
  • During fieldtrips, 1chaperone/10 students

StandardsStandards Addressed:


e. Students know how to analyze fossil evidence with regard to biological diversity, episodic speciation, and mass extinction.

: Biology/Ecology

  • a. Students know biodiversity is the sum total of different kinds of organisms and is affected by alterations of habitats.
  • b. Students know how to analyze changes in an ecosystem resulting from changes in climate, human activity, introduction of nonnative species, or changes in population size.
  • c. Students know how fluctuations in population size in an ecosystem are determined by the relative rates of birth, immigration, emigration, and death.
  • d. Students know how water, carbon, and nitrogen cycle between abiotic resources and organic matter in the ecosystem and how oxygen cycles through photosynthesis and respiration.
  • e.  Students know a vital part of an ecosystem is the stability of its producers and decomposers.

Study Guide & Other Documents:

Pictures taken during my visit.

Main Question: While at the Natural History Museum, what exhibits will we visit today?

See Natural History Museum Map

Tour A – Level 1 (~ 2 hours)
Tour B - Level 2 (~ 2 hours)

Hall of African Mammals
Hall or North American Mammals
Miscellaneous Displays
*Hall of Cenozoic Fossils & *Mesozoic Fossils
*Hall of American History
*Hall of Ancient Latin America
*Hall of Gems & Minerals

Marine Life
Hall of Chaparral
Bird Hall
Marsh/Birds/Rain Forest
*Hall of North American Mammals
*Director’s Gallery

*If time permits


Member's Loan Service: this excellent service is provided to the public for a $5 processing fee. To liven up the classroom you may borrow up to 6 specimens from a collection of mammals, birds, reptiles, & amphibians. Imagine bringing the black bear to the classroom when exploring biomes or the European starling when covering natural selection!


References & Links: