School Programs
at the Nature Center

The Nature Center's school programs are designed to encourage exploration and fun in learning. Each program is modeled after specific aspects of Ohio proficiency standards. Nature Center staff naturalists are trained and dedicated professionals with a long-term commitment to environmental education and conduct all programs both on-site or at your school. For preschool programs, click here.

For pricing information or to register for a school program, contact Raja Byrnside at (216) 321-5935 ext 243 or byrnside@shakerlakes.org.

K through 3
Seasonal Surprises
Students will explore the Nature Center grounds and observe the plants and animals of several different habitats. When possible, animal life will be observed, and we will discuss whether the animal should be hibernating, migrating or staying awake and how they change with the seasons.

1 hour – available at the Nature Center year round
Grade K: L: 1,5,6; ScI: 4,6; ScWK: 1,3;
Grade 1: L: 1,4,5; ScI: 1,5,8,9; ScWK: 2;
Grade 2: L: 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9; ScI: 3,5
Grade 3: L: 1,2,6; ScI: 2.

Grades K through 1
Sensational Nature
Students will explore the Nature Center grounds to observe animal life and use their five senses, compare them with those of the animals and discuss the differences and similarities.

1 hour – available at the Nature Center year round.
Grade K: L: 1,5,6; ScI: 4,6; ScWK: 1,3;
Grade 1: L: 1,4,5; ScI: 1,5,8,9; ScWK: 2.

Other Seasonal Programs aligned with Academic Content Standards include: Strange Snow; Winter Investigations; Night and Day; Muckity Mud; Rabbit Hop; Froggy Time; Where is that Ladybug; Red-Backed Adventures; Let it Grow.

Grades K through 1
Animal Senses
Students will discover some of the ways animals use their senses to adapt to their environment in order to survive. They will hike the Nature Center grounds in search of animal adaptation evidence.

1 hour – available at the Nature Center or as an adapted classroom visit year round
Grade K: L: 3,4,5,6; ScI: 1,4; ScWK: 1,3
Grade 1: L:1,3,4,5; ScI 1,5,8,9; ScWK: 2

Grades K through 1
Puzzles of Life
Students will visit two different habitats—the wetlands and the forest. They will observe and describe the differences between forest and marsh habitats and the plants and animals that live there. They will then put together a puzzle picture of the forest and marsh habitats.

1 hour – available at the Nature Center year round
Grade K: L:5,6; ScI: 4; ScWK: 3;
Grade 1: L: 1,4; ScI: 4,5,8

Grades K through 2
Habitats
Students will visit two different habitats, the wetlands and the forest, and will compare and contrast. They will discuss the 4 basic needs of all living things and how these needs are met in each habitat.

1 hour – available as a field trip to the Nature Center year round
Grade K: L: 5,6; ScI4: ScWK:3;
Grade 1: L: 1,3,4,5; ScI: 4,5,8;
Grade 2: L: 1,2,3,5,6,7; ScI: 3,5; ScWK: 3

Grades 2 through 5
Animal Adaptations
Students will discover some of the ways animals adapt to their environment in order to survive and reproduce. They will hike the Nature Center grounds in search of animal adaptation evidence.

1 hour – available at the Nature Center or as an adapted classroom visit year round
Grade 2: L:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8; ScI: 3,5; ScWK: 3;
Grade 3: L: 1,2,3,4,6; ScI: 2;
Grade 4: L: 5; ScWK: 1;
Grade 5: L: 2,3,4,5,6; ScI: 3; ScWK: 1

Grades 2 through 4
Hang Outs and Hide Outs
Students will assume new identities, becoming either an animal or a plant. They will determine which habitat they need by comparing and contrasting amounts of sunlight, water and other needs listed on their job descriptions and needs sheets. They will be able to describe the differences among marsh, field and forest habitats

2 hours – available at the Nature Center year round
Grade 2: L: 1,2,3,5,6,7; ScI: 5;
Grade 3: L: 2,6; ScI: 3,5,6; ScWK: 2;
Grade 4: L: 1,2,5; ScWK: 2,4

Grades 2 through 5
Wetlands
Students will visit a wetland and see first hand how it functions. They will discuss the functions of a wetland using metaphors. Older students will participate in the longer program and take soil samples in the wetlands and woods and compare the results.

1-2 hours – available at the Nature Center in the fall and spring
Grade 2: L: 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9; ScI: 2,3; ScWK: 3;
Grade 3: L: 1,2,6; ScI: 1,2,4,5,6; ScWK: 2;
Grade 4: L: 2,3,5; ScI: 1,2; ScWK: 2,4;
Grade 5: L: 2,3,4,5,6; ScI: 1,2,3,5,6; ScWK: 1,2,4,5

Grades 2 through 4
Wild About Weather
Students will participate in activities using instruments to help measure different aspects of weather at the Nature Center’s weather station. Hike the Nature Center grounds and make observations about how the weather, climate and seasons affect the habitat.

2 hours – available at the Nature Center year round
Grade 2: E&S: 4,5; S&T: 1,2; ScI: 3,5,6,7,8,9; ScWK: 1,2,4;
Grade 3: S&T: 1,2,3; ScI: 2,5,4,6; ScWK: 1,2,4
Grade 4: E&S: 1,2,3,4,5,7; Phys:4;ScI: 1,2,4; ScWK: 2; MATH DA&PS: 1,2

Grades 3 through 8
The Magic of Monarchs
Students will learn about the lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly and study current migration patterns and location. They will hike to Horseshoe Lake, looking for monarchs and examples of plant/animal interdependence. Students will have the opportunity to spend time in guided journaling activities. They will visit the Nature Center’s prairie and map and graph the distribution of certain plant species related to butterflies.

3 hours – available at the Nature Center in the fall
Grade 3: L: 1,2,3,6; Sc&T: 2,3; ScI: 2,3,4,5,6; ScWK: 2; Math: NNS&O: 12; M: 1a,d,4,5; PF&A: 7; DA&P: 1,2,3,4,5,6,9;
Grade 4: E&S: 1,2,3,4,5,7; L: 1,5; ScI: 1,2,3,4,5; ScWK: 3,2,4; MATH DA&PS:2,3;
Grade 5: L: 2,3,4,5,6; S&T: 1: ScI: 1,3,4,6; ScWK: 1,4,5;
Grade 6: S&T: 1,2;
Grade 7: E&S: 1,2,3,4,5,6,9; L: 3,5,6,8; S&T: 2,3;
Grade 8: E&S: 13; L:3.

Grades 3 through 8
WoW! Wetlands or Woods?
Students will visit the wetlands and forest areas of the Nature Center. In each habitat, they will investigate the soil by taking core sampling and performing a number of chemical/physical tests. They will learn to estimate the age of various species of trees using scientific and mathematic tools and will graph results. They will observe and discuss the importance of diversity within the flora and fauna of these specific habitats.

3 hours – available at the Nature Center in the fall and spring
Grade 3: E&S: 4,5,6; Sc&T: 2; ScI: 1,2,3,4,5,6; ScWK: 2; Math: NNS&O: 12;
M: 1a,d,4,5; PFZ&A: 7; DA&P: 1,9;
Grade 4: E&S: 1,2,3,4,5,8,9,10; L: 2,5; S&T: 1,2,3; ScI: 1,2,4,5; ScWK: 1,2,4 MATH DA&PS: 1,2,3,4,5;
Grade 5: E&S: 5,6; L: 4,5,6; S&T: 1,3; ScI: 1,3,5,6; ScWK: 1,3,4,5;
Grade 6: L: 8: Phys: 8; S&T: 2;
Grade 7: E&S: 1,2,3,4,5,6,9; L: 3,4,5,6,8; S&T: 2,3;
Grade 8: L: 3; S&T: 2.

Grades 4 through 8
Doan Brook Geology
Students will hike the Doan Brook Gorge and learn to discern differences in bedrock types using their senses to detect differences in texture, appearance and smell. They will observe the erosion of rock by chemical and physical means, especially via the work of running water as an important agent of geologic change. They will also recognize geologic processes as ongoing, extremely slow cycles which continue to alter the landscape at an imperceptible rate. This field trip takes place entirely outdoors.

2 hours – available at the Nature Center year round
Grade3: E&S: 1,2,3,4;
Grade 4: E&S: 8,9,10; Phys: 1,2,3;
Grade 6: E&S: 1,2,3; Phys: 2,3,4;
Grade 7: Phys: 1;
Grade 8: E&S: 10,12,13,14

Grades 4 through 8
Water Quality
Students will collect samples from the Doan Brook, and will determine the health of the Doan Brook watershed by identifying the macroinvertebrates that they find living there. They will learn the correct techniques for using a compound microscope. For the longer program, students will perform chemical tests on the Doan Brook and compare the results to the biological data found.

2-3 hours – available at the Nature Center in the fall and spring
Grade 4: E&S: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10; L: 1,2,3,5,6; S&T: 3; ScI: 2,3; ScWK: 2,4 MATH DA&PS:1;
Grade 5: E&S: 5,6; L: 4,5,6; S&T: 1,2,3; ScI: 1,3; ScWK: 1,2,4,5;
Grade 6: S&T: 1,2;
Grade 7: E&S: 1,2,3,4,5,6,9; L: 3,5,6,8; S&T: 2,3;
Grade 8: E&S: 13; L:3;

Grades 4 through 8
Lakes and the Riparian Zone
Students will hike a part of the Doan Brook watershed and learn the basics principals of a watershed and predict what will happen when it rains. They will determine the health of the Lower Lake by taking samples (biological and chemical) and analyzing the results.

3 hours – available at the Nature Center in the fall and spring
Grade 4: E&S: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10; L: 1,2,3,5,6; S&T: 3; ScI: 2,3; ScWK: 2,4 MATH DA&PS:2,3;
Grade 5: E&S: 5,6; L: 4,5,6; S&T: 1,2,3; ScI: 1,3; ScWK: 1,2,4,5;
Grade 6: S&T: 1,2;
Grade 7: E&S: 1,2,3,4,5,6,9; L: 3,5,6,8; S&T: 2,3;
Grade 8: E&S: 13;