Nature Based Learning
This school year, we are adapting to support teachers, learners and families in the classroom, in their neighborhoods and in their homes.
Social distance and digital learning have highlighted more than ever the need for meaningful connections to the natural world. Spending time outdoors especially in times of uncertainty can reduce stress, improve academics, boost our immune systems, and improve social-emotional well being.
We are committed to offering opportunities to use technology as a springboard to convert screen time into green time!
Virtual Live Animal Programs
Quarry Hill Nature Center is offering Virtual LIVE Animal Presentations for your students. With the help of our animal ambassadors, we are excited to share with you not just their stories, but their amazing abilities too. What’s it all about? Click the video clip above to learn more.
- Quarry Hill naturalists provide online animal lessons for students grades K-5.
- Students meet live animals.
- Sessions are interactive! Your students ask Quarry Hill naturalists questions and we answer them in real time.
- Choose from topics that allow you to meet reptiles, amphibians, birds, bugs, and more.
- Sessions are 30 minutes for $65.00
- Class sizes up to 32 students.
- Sessions begin November 20.
Now you see me. Now you don’t! You'll have to look closely to find these animals because they are experts at hiding. Discover why, where, and how animals camouflage. This program features a walking stick, a toad, and a snake.
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, knees and beaks, knees and shells? Each animal has body parts designed for specific purposes. Learn about the incredible ways animal bodies are built for success in their habitats. This program features a turtle and a tree frog.
We know them and love them, but do we really understand how their unusual bodies work? It’s time to unpack the turtle tool kit. Scutes, plastron, beaks, breathable skin: turtles are loaded with traits that have allowed them to survive since the age of the dinosaurs! This program features three species of MN turtles.
It's All About the Snakes|
Got legs? Don’t need ‘em. Got ears? Don’t use ‘em. Got arms? Constrict without ‘em. Sakes alive - what DO snake have? Discover how snakes thrive with the unique bodies they have. This program features 2-3 species of native MN snakes.
Living the Double Life - Amazing Amphibians
The magic of metamorphosis comes to life with a closer look at the world of amphibians. Learn what creatures belong to this animal group and what adaptations they have to live both on land and in the water. This program features a salamander and toad.
Sky Hunters (not available until February 2021)
Day and night, raptors rule the sky as winged hunters. But flight is not all these birds of prey have going for them. Learn what exactly raptors are and what makes them such efficient predators. This program features a live raptor!
OWL PELLET EXTENSION. This offering comes with the option of ordering individual owl pellets and bone charts for each student. An additional 15 minutes will be added on to the program to allow a naturalist to introduce owl pellets and demonstrate dissection tips. Additional fee of $4.00/student applies (minimum order of 20 pellets required).
To schedule your students for a Virtual Live Animal Program, inquire here:
Distance Learning Resources
This Week in the Wild – is an ongoing series of 3-minute videos is rooted in Phenology.
CLICK the above image to subscribe to the series!
Phenology [fi-nol-uh-jee]: the study of plant and animal life cycles through the seasons, from year to year. Phenologists observe and take notes on natural events to discover nature's patterns and rhythms. It is not about watching for every day happenings (like when we eat), but it IS about watching for changes in animals and plants because of changes in the seasons and climate (like birds migrating).
Why Study Phenology?
- Phenology empowers ALL students as learners. Everyone can do it!
- Phenology helps build strong science skills such as observation and interpretation, prediction, research, using tools (measurement, reading gauges), collecting and recording data, and graphing.
- Phenology encourages students to see connections between weather and nature as they explore the natural world.
- Phenology reminds us that there are new things to discover outdoors each day.
How can I use this in my (virtual) classroom?
- This Week in the Wild could be an opener you have your students watch prior to your morning meeting.
- It could be a spring board to their return from lunch.
- It could provide a “What more do I want to know? Or “I wonder…” prompt for writing in a daily journal.
- It could be the discussion that follows the days weather check.
- Start each new month asking students to predict what they believe will happen in nature that month, then record what they actually observe.
Use these videos to encourage more phenological studies:
- Are you learning to graph? Chart the sunrise and sunset for 1 week, and graph the times. Follow the temperature for 1 month, observing and recording the highs and lows.
- Record rainfall/ snowfall as we move into a new season.
- Watch a tree or plant out of the classroom window and take a picture of it each week. Put together a slideshow about its changes during the seasons.
K-12 Digital Classes
Digital science classes for grades K-6.