The Shape of Things (preK) We depend on all of our senses to learn about our environment. Nature is filled with objects of different shapes and sizes. Children will focus their eyes on the shapes that define both our natural and built environment. After the activity children will make “shape necklaces” with pre-cut construction paper. A great opportunity to incorporate shape recognition, comparing and the diversity of shapes in nature! (45 minutes)
Falling for Leaves (suggested grades K-1) Fall is a perfect time to take a hike and enjoy the colors and multitude of leaves falling to the ground. During this program students are asked to use their observation skills to categorize leavers by shape and color. We’ll also share differences between deciduous and coniferous trees and how trees grow. (45 minutes)
Meet the Arthropods (suggested grades 1-3) Explore the world of insects, bugs, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, and crustaceans by collecting and examining a variety of invertebrates during this active hike. Students are provided with bug boxes and participate in a guided hunt for insects and other similar creatures. The naturalist will then gather the group together to look at everyone’s discoveries and discuss adaptations and special habits of the many-legged critters. Discussions include habitats, comparisons of insects to non-insects and collection techniques safe for both critter and student. (1 hour)
Dirt Makers (suggested for grades 3-5) Roll over logs and meet vitally important members of the ecosystem—the decomposers! Learn more about the variety of critters whose job it is to transform decaying material into rich soil. A note taking or journaling component can easily be added by request for additional scientific observation. A worksheet activity is included to assist students on their endeavor. (1 hour)
Orienteering (suggested for grades 6 and up) The Ransom Preserve near Charlevoix features the Conservancy Orienteering course. Bring your class out to learn how to use a compass and explore this beautiful upland preserve with rolling hills and scenic vistas. Students enjoy the challenge of ‘bushwacking’ through the forest and the thrill of success when they find their mark. NOTE: During this program, your class will be divided into teams of 4 or 5 students and an adult leader should be available for each team. (1 1/2 – 2 hours) *This program requires pre-visit activities sent with the confirmation packet. A classroom visit by a Conservancy naturalist prior to your outing is also recommended. Eco
Journaling (suggested for grades 6 and up) A fun year-long program which integrates the changing seasons (phenology), art, science, language arts, and much more! Throughout the year, Conservancy Naturalists come into the classroom to introduce journaling techniques. Following these classroom visits, we meet you and your students at a natural area of your choice to implement and use the techniques. Using their own personalized eco journals, students practice the techniques at chosen “spots” they have selected. Each season we return to record changes, learn about nature in northern Michigan, and compare data. NOTE: This program is designed to help teachers integrate journaling into their curriculum for the duration of one year. After a full year, teachers apply what they’ve learned to future classes. LTC staff is available for assistance upon request.