This section provides background information for the teacher and parent-leader. It explains how these basic ecological facts relate to students. This information should be shared with students in some way before coming to SERC. This will help students make connections to what is learned in their classroom and what is learned in the outdoor classroom.
This section provides vocabulary for students to learn before participating in the activity. These words should be introduced in school so students can answer questions during introductory and review discussions. A vocabulary activity is available for each of these activities.
Materials students will use during the activity are listed. While most of the materials will be provided by SERC, we ask that teachers bring certain supplies from school or request parents bring them from home.
There are numbered step-by-step instructions for each activity. These instructions include discussion questions teachers can ask to introduce activities. Feel free to add your own questions. Instructions may contain the following adjustments:
Option 1 and 2: provided for teachers who prefer different versions of the activity.
For younger students: options for grades K-1 that simplify or repeat content.
For older students: options for grades 2-3 that require advanced thinking skills.
During wrap up, the group can sit in a circle, and answer the discussion questions provided in this section. The wrap up phase creates a perfect opportunity for parent-leaders to refocus students and evaluate what they have learned. The wrap up can make or break an activity. A well-organized wrap up strengthens student knowledge of vocabulary, and key concepts allowing students to relate the activities to their lives. Studies show that students retain more information by reviewing major concepts directly afterwords.
To assist with answers during the wrap up session, a possible answer has been provided. This answer appears in bold typeface.