The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect place to learn about nature.


(WBIR-Great Smoky Mountains National Park) A recent field trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park inspired some East Tennessee students and their teacher.

Mark Mundo said, "Just when they got out of the bus and they walked into the forest it was like, whoa, check it out Mister Mark."

Mr. Mark is Mark Mundo, a kindergarten teacher at Sevierville Primary School.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a living classroom for students learning about their five senses. Emily Stroud and Jerry Owens

Ranger Lloyd Luketin explained the theme of the field trip, "They're going to learn to explore the plants and animals of the Great Smoky Mountains using their five senses."

He guided their journey along the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail. They sang songs and explored their senses at different learning stations along the route.

Mark Mundo said, "Hands on experience is probably the best type of learning. It's when the kids actually get to do what we are learning in class but a hands on approach to it."

The field trip is full of surprises.

"Hello. I'm the talking chimney," a voice boomed out from an old stone chimney.


"Let's use one of our senses and listen while I tell you a story," the voice continued.

The students were all ears as the talking chimney recalled its time as part of a house where a family lived.

"We had stews, gravy, and apple pie. Mmmm. The kids really loved apple pie," the voice said.

Apple pie would be perfect for their sense of taste...

Mark Mundo said, "This is my fourteenth year teaching and we've gone every year and it is one of our favorite ones. And as you can see the rangers know how to talk to the kindergartners and they put on a wonderful show."

Ranger Lloyd said, "I don't remember much about being in school. But I do remember every field trip that I ever went on and for these kids this is a special day that they possibly could remember for the rest of their lives."

A talking chimney? Who could ever forget that.

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