1st-2nd Grade

Next Gen Standards and Wood Lake Curriculum  

Animal Camouflage (All Seasons) 
Investigate how animals hide with a ‘hide and seek’ hike to find hidden animals. End the class with a look at the camouflage on a live snake.

Apple Cidering (Fall) 
Using an old-fashioned cider press, make apple cider and learn about the natural and cultural history of apples. Enjoy a fall hike, time allowing.

Animal Homes & Habitats   (All Seasons) 
Learn how animals’ size and adaptations define their shelters. Hike to survey different animal homes in their habitats.
kids at wood lake

Animal Tracks (All Seasons) 
Study track identification basics and hike to search for and identify tracks of resident animals. Make plaster casts of animal prints to take home.
Animals in Winter (Winter) 
Discover how animals adapt to the harshest time of year. Students observe animal furs, hike outside to find animal shelters and food sources, and meet a live turtle.

Bees & Honey (Spring, Summer, Fall) 
Collect insects and learn about the bees’ hive and life cycle. Finish the program with a sample of Wood Lake honey.

Birds Around Us (All Seasons) 
Look at birds' amazing adaptations for survival in various habitats. Study real bird parts, learn bird behavior and identification skills, and see what kind of birds can be seen at Wood Lake Nature Center. 

Cold-Blooded Critters (Spring, Summer, Fall) 
Learn the attributes of animals with no fur or feathers, observe live specimens in their habitats, and participate in a  ‘hands-on’ visit with some live cold-blooded critters.

Critter Walk (All Seasons) 
From trees to bees and everything in between, explore Wood Lake to observe and learn about nature’s critters and their habitats.
bug at wood lakeDead or Alive (Spring, Summer, Fall) 
Observe characteristics of living, dead, and inanimate (never alive) things and learn the difference between the three.  Sort objects into the three categories and go on a hike to identify how all three things fit into nature’s cycle of life.
Food Web (All Seasons)
Observe the interdependency of all living things and how energy moves through the food chain with an interactive game and a hike.

Insect Study (Spring, Summer, Fall) 
Using sweep nets and magnifying ‘bug boxes’ to find and observe insects and other invertebrates in the prairie and forest. Use classification key to understand 
the unique adaptations of these mini beasts. 

Life Cycles (All Seasons) 
Review the life cycles of plants and various animals such as amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and insects through a fun puppet show. Hike outside to discover the different stages of the life cycle through a life cycle bingo game.
Maple Syruping (March) Learn about the natural and cultural history of maple syruping. Identify and tap maple trees, collect sap, and turn syrup into a maple sugar treat. tapping a maple tree

Marsh Explorers (Spring, Summer, Fall) 
Discover the incredible variety of animals, insects, and plants that live in the marsh. Dip into the marsh with a collection cup to explore the hidden depths of this diverse wetland. (Older students will examine caught specimens under microscopes). 

Migration and Hibernation (Fall, Winter)
Identify the ways animals (including humans) adapt for winter. Hike to find signs of animal activity and play a migration game to learn about the importance of habitat for migrating animals.

Muskrat Safari (Winter) Learn about adaptations of aquatic and land mammals. Go out to the marsh to search for muskrat lodges and get a glimpse of life under the ice.

Nature’s Needs (Spring, Summer, Fall) 
Identify the things both animals and plants need to survive, listen to a story, and then explore Wood Lake’s forest and prairie. End the class with a visit from a live salamander.

Snowshoeing (Winter) 
Experience the joy of walking on top of snow, conditions permitting. 

Trees, Leaves, and Seeds (Spring, Summer, Fall) 1st-2nd
Discover how plants grow and learn about their leaves and seeds. Collect seeds to find out how plants are able to spread out without being able to move.