Fall School Programs at West Campus
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk; Peabody Museum Collections
Betula alleghaniensis (Yellow Birch): Oyster River Outdoor Classroom

Fall Nature Walk  (30-50 minutes)

Grade Level: Elementary School 

Fall is an important transition period for the plants and animals of Connecticut’s forests and floodplains.  A walk along the Oyster River trails on West Campus can be a useful way to introduce the concepts of seasonal change, habitat, biodiversity, natural cycles, resource use and human impact on the environment.

 

CT Science Content Standards:

K.2: Many different kinds of living things inhabit the earth

K.3: Weather conditions vary daily and seasonally

1.2: Living things have different structures and behaviors that allow them to meet their basic needs

1.3: Organisms change in form and behavior as part of their life cycles

2.2: Plants change their forms as part of their life cycles

3.2: Organisms can survive and reproduce only in environments that meet their basic needs

4.2: All organisms depend on the living and non-living features of the environment for survival

 

Next Generation Science Standards Practices:

1) Asking Questions

6) Constructing explanations

8) Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

 

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Introduction to Trees  (60-75 minutes)

Grade Level: Elementary School

The climate in Connecticut creates perfect conditions for a diverse population of trees.  This program will focus on the role of trees in a forest habitat, including the beneficial properties of trees to humans.  Identification techniques utilizing leaves, growth patterns, bark and seeds will be discussed.  Photosynthesis and the physiology of trees will be explored through an interactive activity.  Optional activites include an exploratory walk through a riparian forest habitat on campus and an introduction to tools and techniques for measuring tree diameter and height.

  

CT Science Content Standards:

1.2: Living things have different structures and behaviors that allow them to meet their basic needs

1.3: Organisms change in form and behavior as part of their life cycles

2.2: Plants change their forms as part of their life cycles

3.2: Organisms can survive and reproduce only in environments that meet their basic needs

4.2: All organisms depend on the living and non-living features of the environment for survival

 

Next Generation Science Standards Practices: 

1) Asking Questions

2) Developing and using models

6) Constructing explanations

8) Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

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Soil Studies  (60-75 minutes)

Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School

Soil is a critical natural resource on which all plant life depends.  This program will study the organic and inorganic components of soil and their properties, the forces that are responsible for soil creation, and some animals that live in the soil.  This indoor/outdoor program includes a hands-on laboratory component which includes use of dissecting microscopes to study soil samples and look for invertebrates that break down organic matter to create healthy soil.

 

CT Science Content Standards:

2.3: Earth materials have varied physical properties that make them useful in different ways

6.4: Water moving across and through earth materials carries with it the products of human activities.

 

Next Generation Science Standards Practices:

1) Asking Questions

2) Developing and using models

4) Analyzing and interpreting data

6) Constructing explanations

8) Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

 

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Ecology: Birds of Prey  (60 -75 Minutes)

Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Many birds of prey, or raptors, migrate through Connecticut each fall to wintering grounds further south, making fall an excellent time of year to see these impressive birds.  Using examples from the Peabody Museum collections, this program will provide an introduction to the variety of birds that belong to the raptor family including buteos, accipiters, falcons and osprey.  Characteristics common to all raptors and specific adaptations of each family will also be discussed.  Weather permitting, there will also be an opportunity to scan the skies and identify migrating raptors.  Binoculars are provided.  An interactive game which highlights the role of raptors in the food web and the effects of bio-magnification on predator species is an optional activity.

 

CT Science Content Standards:

4.2: All organisms depend on the living and non-living features of the environment for survival

5.2: Perceiving and responding to information about the environment is critical to the survival of organisms

6.2: An ecosystem is composed of all the populations that are living in a certain space and the physical factors with which they interact

HS:  Ecology Enrichment Content

 

Next Generation Science Standards Practices: 

1) Asking Questions

8) Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information