Experiential Education

At Dawson, knowledge is not “just the facts” but the process involved in discovering meaning from real world experience.

Field trips, class trips, and Winterim are integrated with the classroom curricula in the Lower School.  Students are offered growing experiences that help them develop self-confidence and social skills, while teachers assume leadership roles and share areas of passion and expertise in an experiential setting.

Field Trips

All grade-level classes take an astounding six to eight field trips during the course of the school year. Trips generally are in conjunction with units of study.  Additionally, cultural and community field trips introduce students to other people and their cultural heritage. 

Class Trips 

Each year, the second, third, and fourth grade classes take overnight trips that enrich curriculum by involving life skills, character development, and the opportunity to strengthen relationships with teachers and peers.  

Although these trips could be done as day trips, they offer maturational experiences that provide age- appropriate adventures and prepare them for future travels. 

Second Grade

Second grade will Bunk with the Beasts at the Denver Zoo to support the class’ study of animals.  

Third Grade

An overnight stay at the Plains Conservation Center allows third grade students to study the land and cultural heritage that are part of their Colorado history curriculum.  

Fourth Grade  

Fourth grade students spend three days and two nights at the Estes Park YMCA and experience outdoor education in Rocky Mountain National Park.


While their Middle and Upper School campus mates are enjoying local, regional, national and international experiences, Winterim Week activities in the Lower School are experiential in nature and provide opportunities to explore themes across age and class boundaries in a specific area of study. Recent Winterim themes have included in-depth studies of Africa, Japan, and The United States.