Preschool: “Children of the Land” 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Description: Become comfortable in nature while learning about the wonders of water and explore the mountain trails and special homes of the animals that live in the forest.
Key Concepts: Nature is all around us.
Goals: To help children become comfortable in nature and to foster awareness and appreciation of nature.
Objectives: Students will be able to describe different parts of nature, interact appropriately with the natural world, and suggest how they can care for nature at home.
- Rainforest Hike – Children will explore a mountain trail, exercising all of their senses (except taste).
- Wonderful World of Water – Students will water plants with stream water and interact with live stream animals.
- Mountain Meadow – Children will explore the homes of animals that live in Hawaii’s forests and meadows.
Kindergarten: “Introduction to Nature” 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Key Concepts: Nature is all around us; people are part of nature. Nature is made of living and non-living things. We need nature for survival and there are many things we can do to help care for nature.
Goals: To help children become comfortable in nature; to foster an awareness and appreciation of nature, with emphasis on sensory exploration; to expose students to some of the plants and animals found in Hawaii.
Objectives: Students will be able to interact appropriately with the natural world, express ways in which nature is important to them, and suggest how they can care for nature at home. Students will be able to decipher between items that are in their “natural form” or “people-made”.
- Soil Cookies – Students will learn about the “ingredients”that go into making soil. We will grind rocks, add leaves and twigs, and add water. After mixing the cookie dough, each student will get to form a cookie in their hands and give it to a plant.
- Stream Exploration- Students will learn about the living and non-living components of a freshwater stream by exploring stream life pre-set in buckets.
- Sensory trail – Children will use their five senses to explore nature on a forest trail. They will search for the amazing colors, shapes, smells, and textures hidden in nature. (Will save their sense of taste for lunchtime!)
Grade 1: “Introduction to Plants and Animals and Healthy Habitats” 9:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
*As of Fall 2016, we are implementing the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in our 1st Grade Program. The general “Habitat” program and activities remain the same, however, there is a refined emphasis on how plants and animals obtain their survival needs. See below for more info!
Description: Exploration of the plants and animals found in the different habitats of `Iao Valley. Emphasis on survival needs, plants and animals adaptations, food chains, and how people can help maintain healthy habitats.
Program Site: `Iao Valley
Key Concepts: There are many different types of plants and animals in nature. All living things (including humans) have basic survival needs. Plants and animals have external parts that help them survive. Animals also engage in behaviors that help them to obtain their survival needs. By exploring nature we can observe patterns in the natural world and learn how plants and animals adapt to their surroundings. All plants and animals, including humans, need a healthy habitat. Everyone can help care for plants and animals and the island home we share.
Goals: To foster an awareness and appreciation of nature, with emphasis on survival needs, behaviors, food chains and habitats. To expose students to the plants and animals found in lowland Hawaiian forest and stream environments. To promote enthusiasm for taking action in helping to keep our island habitat healthy.
Objectives: Students will be able to describe the essential elements of a healthy habitat and our basic survival needs. They will observe and describe how plants and animals have different external parts that help them survive and grow. Students will also be able to demonstrate a simple food chain and identify different behaviors that animals engage in to help them survive. They will be able to express why nature is important to them and why we need to help take care of nature.
- Stream Safari – Students will gather at the edge of `Iao Stream to explore and discover plants and animals living there. After reviewing the components of a stream habitat, they’ll be challenged to work in small groups to create a miniature stream habitat in a bin! Students will observe the animals they catch, identifying different body parts and behaviors that help them survive and grow in the freshwater stream.
- Habitat Hike – After reviewing the survival needs of people and other living things, we’ll set out on a hike along side a mountain in search of plants, animals, and mini habitats within the forest. Students will observe the different parts of plants and animals that help them survive and grow in the forest habitat. They will also be in search of the tiny, often overlooked, creatures of the forest to observe their behaviors that help them survive. All the plants and animals of the forest are important to the health of the habitat.
- Food Chain Challenge – Students will role play a food chain in nature, learning the importance of the sun and discovering how plants and animals have different parts that help them obtain food. Students will then create a food chain of their own in a bug jar! They will explore the forest floor in search of pill bugs, earthworms, millipedes, geckos and other little creatures that find their survival needs in the soil habitat.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
Life Sciences Core Ideas:
- Structure and Function. Plants and animals have external parts that help them survive and grow, meet their needs.
- Growth and Development of Organisms. Adult plants and animals can have young. In many kinds of animals, parents and the offspring themselves engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive.
- Inheritance and Variation of Traits. Young plants and animals are very much, but not exactly like, their parents (Inheritance). Individuals of the same kind of plant or animal are recognizable as similar but can also vary in many ways (Variation).
- The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s).
- Patterns in the natural world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence.
Grade 2: “Cycles in Nature” 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Key Concepts: Everything in the natural world works in cycles. Cycles in nature interact with one another; they are interconnected and interdependent. People are a part of the natural cycles and can help take care of nature.
Goals: To foster an awareness and appreciation of nature, with emphasis on natural, biological and physical cycles; to expose students to the plants and animals found in present lowland Hawaiian forest and stream environments.
Objectives: Students will be able to describe the life cycles of flowering plants and some stream organisms, the water cycle, and the nutrient cycle; identify common decomposers and explain their importance in nature; illustrate the interrelationships between cycles; demonstrate how people can help maintain the health and balance of the natural cycles in nature.
- Stream Cycles – Students will gather at the edge of Iao Stream to review the water cycle. Afterwards, they’ll explore the stream banks and look for hidden stream life.
- Nutrient Cycle – At first glance, this forest is home to little more than bushes and trees. As investigative scientists, students search the soil for hidden organisms that break down fallen branches and leaves, and make it possible for this towering forest to exist.
- Plant Cycles – Most of us know that seeds sprout seedlings, but where do the seeds come from? We’ll use fallen flowers, fruits and seeds to demonstrate the process, and then proceed on a treasure hunt through the forest, looking for various plants and plant parts.
Grade 3: “Discovering Wetlands” 9:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. *ONLY Offered in January-February
Kealia National Wildlife Refuge January – February 2016. Due to wetland conditions, our 3rd grade program is only offered during January and February.
Description: Learn about the arrival and establishment of plants and animals in Hawaii, their adaptation and evolution within a wetland ecosystem as well as wetland conservation.
Key Concepts: Plants and animals that dispersed to Hawaii on the wind, the waves, or via birds are called native. Native species that evolved to become unique are endemic. Plants and animals that arrived with people are introduced. Endemic waterbirds are vulnerable to predation by introduced species and habitat loss. Plants and animals in the wetland have undergone adaptations that help them survive in this environment. They form a complex, interdependent food web within the wetlands.
Goals: To foster an awareness, appreciation, and sense of stewardship of Hawaiian wetlands and waterbirds, with an emphasis on dispersal, adaptation and interdependence.
Objectives: Students will be able to describe the basic geography and biology of a Hawaiian wetland, locate and identify components of the wetland food web, and describe some of the adaptations that enable wetland organisms to thrive in their environment. Students will also be able to suggest several ways they can help care for wetlands in Hawaii.
- Mucking in the Mud – After creating a wetland food web to demonstrate the interconnectedness of life in the wetland, students will venture to the water’s edge on wooden pallets equipped with nets. They’ll probe in the mud, grasses and shallow water to collect some of the smaller animals that live in the wetland. All organisms will be shared with the larger group, and then gently returned to their wetland homes.
- Wetland Walkabout – Students will explore and investigate the path and vegetation along the edges of the wetlands. Specific activities for each day will vary depending upon what’s found along the trail, but will probably include tasting pickle weed, collecting land snail shells, investigating a trap, and analyzing tracks and scat.
- Bird Bingo – After reviewing the adaptations of Hawaiian wetland birds, students use binoculars to locate and identify birds within the refuge, and describe and discuss their behavior.
Upper Elementary (Grades 4, 5 and 6): “Forest Encounters” 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Description: Explore the forest of ‘Iao Valley while learning about geological, biological and human induced change.
Key Concepts: Change is a part of nature; people are often forces of change.
Goals: To foster an awareness and appreciation of nature, with emphasis on geological, biological and human-caused change. To discuss the history of species introduction in Hawai’i, including native, Polynesian introduced and invasive species. To expose students to some of the plants and animals found in lowland Hawaiian forest environments; and to introduce factors which influence soil erosion and water runoff in the forest.
Objectives: Students will be able to explain how natural forces shape our islands, interpret one type of change that has occurred in ‘Iao Valley, and predict how human activity may affect the forest floor and watershed. Students will be able to define the following terms: native, endemic, Polynesian introduced, and invasive. They will also be able to suggest changes they could make to create a better future for Hawaii.
- Ranger Hike – The program will begin on our trail along the ‘Iao stream. The students will proceed up the trail, stopping at Ranger stations along the way to learn about plants in the forest and changes that have taken place in the area. Each student will be a Ranger, and be responsible for imparting information to their classmates. The students will gather at the end of the trail for a review and discussion.
- Soil Studies – Students will work in small groups to create and test a hypothesis about a healthy forest floor. They will test the ability of soil to absorb water and assess small animal diversity in two different areas of the forest. Afterwards, the groups will share their data, and consider how issues like ground cover and land use influence the health of the ‘Iao watershed.
FEES FOR ALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAMS LISTED ABOVE (Kindergarten through 6th grade. Fees are flat rates based on groups of 20 students. 2 adults required for every 20 students, adults are not charged.):
Regular Prices for Non-Title 1 Schools (single booking):
- $775.00 for up to 60 students
- $575.00 for up to 40 students
- $375 for up to 20 students
Regular Prices for Non-Title 1 Schools (*multiple booking discount if your school books more than 1 day of program):
- $700.00 for up to 60 students
- $525.00 for up to 40 students
- $325 for up to 20 students
Discounted prices for Title 1 Schools:
- $425.00 for up to 60 students
- $300.00 for up to 40 students
- $225 for up to 20 students
*IMPORTANT: if you are NOT a Title 1 school but are “in need” of funding support, please inquire about our special scholarship opportunities awarded to non-Title 1 public schools! We will work with you in making it possible for your students to take part in this enriching hands-on, outdoor learning experience!