Amazing Pollinators | Fall, Late Spring
Pollinators are responsible for 1 out of every 4 bites of food that we eat! Students will explore the relationships of plants and insects in the garden as they complete a scavenger hunt. They will observe pollinators at work and record what they notice by sketching and drawing. Other topics may include plant and/or insect life cycles, pollination, and honeybees.
Special Note: The SCCD Community Garden or a school garden is necessary for this lesson.
Bud Exploration | Fall, Winter, Spring
How do trees that lose their leaves survive the winter? Students will learn about the life cycle of a tree, observe buds up close and explore what protects them from winter weather. This may include winter tree identification.
Earthworm Investigations| Fall, Spring
Ever wonder how earthworms survive underground? Can a worm that is cut in two grow into two new worms? How do worms know which way is up or down? Students will use scientific skills and tools to investigate the answers to these questions. They will also learn about the life of a worm through song.
Special Note: This is primarily an INDOOR program. Best paired with Underground World or Forest Floor Exploration
Face in the Moon| All Seasons
Using a projected starfield called Stellarium, students will observe the full moon. They will discover what other cultures see in the face of the moon and hear the stories connected to them. Students will create their own story about what they see in the moon face. Other topics may include moons of other planets and moon phases.
Special Note: This is an INDOOR program that requires a wall or screen for projection.
Forest Floor Exploration| Fall, Spring
What lives down there under the leaves and why don’t leaves continue to pile up every year? These questions will be answered as we explore the forest floor like scientists. Many levels of the food web will be discovered, but our focus will be on decomposers and their important role in the forest.
Journaling Skills| Fall, Spring
Students will learn how to use a journal to record information during nature study. This includes drawing and writing and focuses on details instead of artistic ability. Activities will be chosen based on the time of year, study location, and grade level.
Special Notes: Schools will need to provide journals for students. Pair with Observation Skills.
Meet the Neighbors | All Seasons
Discover life in the forest, field, stream, pond, or garden. Students will use scientific practices and tools to explore an ecosystem and learn about the plants and animals that live there. Topics may include adaptations (structure & function), community roles, life cycles, or food web relationships.
Maple Sugaring | Spring
Sullivan County is the #1 maple syrup producer in NH. Students will learn what makes New England a good place for Sugar Maples to grow as well as learn about the life cycle of a tree. They will learn about the process of turning sap into sugar and get to taste test some different grades of syrup.
Special Note: Our sugar house is only for collecting sap. Students will learn about the process, but not experience it.
Mission Monarch | Fall
Learn about the life cycle of an insect as you search for monarch butterfly eggs, caterpillars and chrysalides among the milkweeds. Count how many of each life stage you find. This number will be recorded and reported to an International citizen science project. Information about the monarch breeding population helps organizations to make decisions that help to protect monarch habitat and their amazing migration.
Nature Art| All Seasons
Inspired by the artistry of Andy Goldsworthy, students will use natural materials to express themselves in art. This can be individual or group work. Students tour the Nature Art or NART gallery and practice giving positive feedback to others.
Observation Skills | All Seasons
Create and practice routines and skills for learning in the outdoor classroom. Students will learn how to observe the world around them with all their senses, practice using a magnifying lens to see from another perspective, and practice a common language for nature observation.
Special Note: This is a great precursor to any other lesson.
Owl Adaptations | All Seasons
Learn how nocturnal animals are different from diurnal animals. Using owls as an example, students will test themselves to see how their senses compare to an owl’s senses. They will observe artifacts and explore topics such as sight, hearing, flight, identification and vocalizations.
Special Note: This can be an indoor or outdoor program.
Sense of Place | All Seasons
Students will explore a place using all their senses in focused activities. This may include sit spots, nature art, music, journaling and play acting. These various activities will help students understand the importance of using the senses they typically do not rely on, as well as, hone the ones they do.
Snow Science | Winter
Winter is a great time to get outside and explore, especially after a good snowfall. Students will dig a snow pit, measure depth and temperatures, and consider the impact of thermodynamics on wildlife movement. Snowflake size and structure may also be a focus if conditions are right.
Special Note: There needs to be snow for this class.
Surviving Winter | Winter
Discover how plants and animals survive long, cold, dark New England winters. Topics may include migration, hibernation, food cacheing, tracking, and tree characteristics.
Special Notes: Some activities require snow.
The Underground World | All Seasons
Soil is more than just dirt! It's a habitat. Students will learn about this underground world by crawling through a soil tunnel, investigating what soil is made of, and sorting critters by their roles in the community.
Special Note: This is an INDOOR program. Best paired with Earthworm Investigations or Forest Floor Exploration.