Spring Programs

Spring 2016 Program
Registration Begins April 12
Programs run April 26-June 3
(parentheses suggest grade level)

Environmental Education Coordinators:

Melissa Hansen
Direct Line: 231.344.1004

Sarah Mayhew
Direct line: 231.344.1018

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This program is designed to engage young children’s fascination and curiosity of animals and where they live I in the wild while building upon observation skills through a fun story and guided walk. While looking up, on the ground, under logs and behind trees, children will gain an awareness of why animals build homes and what materials they use to do so. (45 minutes)
By pretending to be a tree, children will gain an awareness of a tree’s structure and functions. Children will learn how each part of a tree plays a role in helping it to function. Developmental components of this program include music, movement comparing, identifying and interactive play. (45 minutes)
Students benefit from guided observation of nature. Their curiosity about everything around them is evident, and their interest in nature is keen. This nature hike is designed to enhance a student’s awareness of the five senses and the ways they can be used to gather information about our natural world. (45 minutes)
A focus on the four necessary elements needed for a healthy habitat: food, water, shelter, and space. Students will explore and compare three or more habitats. With help from category cards, students will be encouraged to actively explore surroundings for all of the elements required for a healthy habitat. (1 hour)
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)
This hike focuses on food chains, animal habitats, and the transfer of the sun’s energy to all living things. Students are asked to take on the role of different parts of the food chain and to create a chain using other members of their class. During the hike they may search for examples of food from the different habitats they visit and discuss the roles of both predator and prey within a chain. (1 hour)
This program focuses mainly on the importance of plants and their parts and functions. We will also take a closer look at the adaptations of plants and methods of seed dispersal on this hike. (1 hour)
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)
Using field guides and magnifying lenses to identify various aquatic insects, students observe the numerous adaptations of water dwellers, the diversity of life found in water, and the importance of aquatic habitats. We’ll discuss how aquatic life determines water quality and how the food chain extends to underwater habitats. (1.5 hours)

Next Generation Science Standards

4th grade

  • LS1.A: Structure and Function
  • ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems

5th and 6th grade

  • ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes
  • LS2.B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
Through identifying common wildflowers and spring plants, students learn the parts of a flower and their functions. Discussion includes how plants use their different characteristics to achieve pollination. Field guides and journals may also be provided upon request to increase observation and understanding. (1 hour)

Next Generation Science Standards
3rd grade

  • LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
  • LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits
  • LS4.C: Adaptation

4th grade

  • LS1.A: Structure and Function
  • ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems
  • LS4.C: Adaptation (3rd Grade Review)
  • LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms (3rd Grade Review)

5th grade

  • LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
  • ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
  • LS1.A: Structure and Function (4th Grade Review)
Students combine personal observations and creativity while using the beauty of the natural world for inspiration. Students use a guiding worksheet to observe their surroundings. The worksheet focuses on the senses, micro and macro biology, general ecology, and some language arts. Teachers can then use the worksheet to assist other related units in the classroom. (1 to 1.5 hours depending on age)
Conservancy orienteering courses are found at the Ransom Nature Preserve near Charlevoix and the Offield Family Preserve near Harbor Springs. 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 “bushwhacking” through forest and field and the thrill of success when they discover their route marker. NOTE: During this program, your class will be divided into teams of four or five students and an adult leader should be available for each team. *This program requires the completion of pre-visit activities sent with the confirmation packet. A classroom visit by a Conservancy Naturalist prior to your outing is also available and recommended. (approx. 2 hours)
Use a compass to create a map while enjoying signs of spring in northern Michigan. Students will be challenged to use their self-created maps to find their way back. A nice addition to a unit on early explorers. This program is also a good follow-up to the Conservancy’s fall orienteering course. *Orienteering course also available upon request at Ransom Preserve (Charlevoix County). (1.5 hour)

Next Generation Science Standards
Social Studies Standards

  • 3rd – G1.0.1 Use cardinal directions (north, south, east, west) to describe the relative location of significant places in the immediate environment.
  • 4th – G1.0.3 Identify and describe the characteristics and purposes (e.g., measure distance, determine relative location, classify a region) of a variety of geographic tools and technologies (e.g., globe, map, satellite image).
  • 6th– G1.2.2 Explain why maps of the same place may vary, including cultural perspectives of the Earth and new knowledge based on science and modern technology

Year-Round Programs

These three programs can be offered all three seasons of the school year.

This course is an introduction to the skills and mindset needed in a wilderness survival situation throughout the seasons. All sessions cover basic introduction to the following skills: Importance of attitude, self reliance, and sound decision making; being prepared and informed before venturing out; and strategies for addressing a survival situation. Each season focuses on a different topic: Fall – Shelter Building; Winter – Fire Building; and Spring – Water Collecting & Wild Edibles. Take one session or all three! (Sessions are approximately 1.5 hours long.)
Using their own personalized eco-journals, students practice acquired journaling 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. (Sessions are approx. 1 hour long)
This program is intended to expose students to the art of photography while providing them with an outdoor experience that will inspire an appreciation of and awareness for nature. Students will put their acquired photographic techniques into action as we hike along a path on your chosen natural area. Photography is an excellent tool for expressing creativity, as well as getting outdoors and exploring nature up close. A variety of subjects including art, science, and language arts can be applied to photography. *Cameras provided. Space is limited for this program. (Sessions are approx. 1 hour long)

Header photo credit: Joe Clark/www.glasslakesphotography.com