3rd-5th Grade

Next Gen Standards and Wood Lake Curriculum  

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.

Animal and Plant Adaptations (All Seasons) 
Discover how adaptations aid in animal survival with a scavenger hunt, adaptation activity, and a look at live animals.

Animal Tracks (All Seasons) smokingbees
Study track identification basics and hike to search for and identify tracks of resident animals. Make plaster casts of animal prints to take home.

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.

Endangered Species (All Seasons) 
Discover the major causes of why animals become endangered due to habitat loss, human impact, and climate change. Understand how humans can help these animals from becoming endangered. Then go on a hike to learn about animals and their need in the habitats around Wood Lake.

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.

Light and Energy (All Seasons) 
Observe properties of light and energy through hands-on experimentation and a fun game to test vocabulary knowledge.

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. 

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. (Lessons adapted for age group. 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.

Predator/Prey (All Seasons) 
Compare the adaptations of predators and prey by looking at skulls of herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. Play a game to simulate predator/prey relationships and watch a video of predators in action. (Lesson adapted for age group).

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

Soil, Rocks, & Minerals (Spring, Summer, Fall) 
Learn the difference between igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks and compare their characteristics. Discover how they turn into a key component of soil and explore soil’s other ingredients.(Lesson adapted for age group).
Green Central Park 006

Survival Shelters (All Seasons) 
Learn about the basics of survival and then test survival skills by making a shelter out of natural materials.

Water Cycle (All Seasons)
Learn how water moves around the planet by becoming a water molecule and going on an incredible journey around the globe. Discuss how humans affect water supply and what actions we can take to protect our water close to home using a ground water model.

Weather (All Seasons) 
What is weather and where does it come from? You students will be able to answer these questions and learn to predict a weather forecast using thermometers, anemometers, compasses, and identify cloud types. (Lesson adapted to age group).

Wild Edible Plants (Spring, Summer, Fall) 
Discuss how to identify, collect, and prepare wild edible plants. Sample some of Wood Lake’s wild edibles and prepare a simple wild edible recipe.