Programs Offered for Junior Grades
- *Programs can also be offered in French on request.*
Instincts for Survival - Created by Waterloo Outdoor Educator Frank Glew in 1991, this food web simulation game has become a staple in outdoor education across North America. In this tag-style game, students are transformed into animals on different levels of the food web and must run, hide, and chase each other in order to survive, all the while searching for plant food and water.
- Learn to identify animals that are herbivores, omnivores, or carnivores.
- Learn to classify organisms as producers, consumers, or decomposers and identify their role in the food chain.
- Develop an understanding of food chains and how energy from the sun is transferred to producers and then to consumers.
- Describe how energy is stored and transformed in a system.
- Energy cannot be created or destroyed but can only be changed from one form to another.
- Describe interrelationships between species.
Ecosystem Explorations: Habitats and Communities - In this experiential activity, students will explore a local forest habitat while learning about the different plants and animals that live there, and how their needs are met. Students will investigate, discover, and play games demonstrating a number of ecological concepts. Emphasis on the concepts of habitat and communities is placed in Grade 4 programs, with an emphasis on biodiversity and ecosystems for Grades 6-7.
- A deep understanding of habitats, and how the necessities for life are provided for different plants and animals.
- A deep understanding of communities as a group of species sharing a common habitat.
Ecosystem Explorations: Biodiversity - In this experiential activity, students will learn about the concept of biodiversity in many forms. They will explore biodiversity at the species level in a local ecosystem. Then, through hands-on activities, they will learn about the interactions of different species and how they are reliant on each other in a complex web of life. They will also learn about and witness what happens when too many species are eliminated from the system.
- Develop a strong understanding of the concept of biodiversity and its importance.
- Compare the characteristics of organisms within the plant or animal kingdoms.
Under the Surface - An abundance of life thrives below the water's surface, and we hope to see it first hand. Using dip nets and observation containers, students will find and identify creatures in a local stream or pond ranging form aquatic insects to crayfish. They will learn the concept of biodiversity, and why it is important for water quality. They will also learn the concept of a watershed, how this particular body of water connects to it, and how that affects the water they use on a daily basis.
- Develop an understanding of a community as a group of interacting species sharing a common habitat.
- Describe structural adaptations that allow plants and animals to survive in specific habitats.
- Investigate organisms found in a specific habitat and classify them according to a classification system.
- Develop an understanding of biodivesity and its importance to the health of an aquatic ecosystem.
- Use scientific inquiry/research skills to compare the characteristics of organisms within the plant or animal kingdoms
Lost in the Wild - In this hands-on activity, students will learn the steps to take if they are ever lost in a wilderness setting. They begin by learning what steps to take to stay calm, and plan their strategy. They will then learn how and build their own survival shelters in the forest. In the process, students will learn about concepts such as insulation, weather patterns, and structure. The resulting shelters are usually quite impressive, and would serve well in a short-term survival situation.
- Students will learn how structures withstand forces.
- Use technological problem-solving skills to design, build, and test a frame structure that will survive external forces.
- Identify natural forces that may affect the structures, and how to counteract these problems.
- Showing leadership, and applying conflict-resolution skills
- Clearly expressing ideas and responses
- Problem solving and conflict resolution skills
- Team Building Challenge (Offered All Year) - Set the foundation for cooperation, coordination, communication, and collaboration right from the beginning of the school year, or build on what you've been working toward with your class. Presented with a number of outdoor initiative challenges, students will work as a group to finish the task at hand and grow as a cohesive unit. This is an excellent program to allow your class to grow and bond as a team at the beginning of the school year, but is just as valuable at any time of year.
Health and Physical Education (all grades):
- Problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills.
- Observing non-verbal signals and body language.
- Clearly expressing ideas and responses.
- Demonstrating teamwork skills by working collaboratively with a partner or in a group to achieve a common goal.
- Showing leadership, and applying conflict-resolution skills.
- Arriving at a decision, conclusion, goal, or solution.