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Curriculum Expectations

Albion Hills Field Centre

Stream Study
Through observation, measurement, experimentation and collection of biological and physical data, students examine the stream environment. Evaluation and analysis of the data allows learners to hypothesize about the viability of the stream to support coldwater fish species (e.g., trout).

Curriculum connections:

Science & Technology

  • Grade 4 – Habitats and Communities, Grade 6 – Biodiversity, Grade 7 – Interactions in the Environment, Grade 8 – Water Systems

Social Studies

  • Geography: Grade 7– Natural Resources

Watersheds
This program begins with a general review of the water cycle through an indoor game. Students are then introduced to the concept of a watershed and why it is important to maintain healthy watersheds. They will identify on a map the watershed in which they live. Outside, students will tour a portion of the watershed observing changes in vegetation, land use and human impact as they are related to changes in water quality and quantity.

Curriculum connections:

Science & Technology

  • Grade 7 – Interactions in the Environment, Grade 8 – Water Systems

Social Studies

  • Geography: Grade 7 – Natural Resources, Themes of Geographic Inquiry, Patterns in Physical Geography, Grade 8 – Patterns in Human Geography

Biodiversity Investigation
This program emphasizes the importance of biodiversity to the health of the planet and allows students to explore, identify and measure the biodiversity in a wetland. Hands-on activities include identifying and measuring tree growth, sampling for aquatic organisms, and searching for frogs, birds and snakes. As data is collected, students are encouraged to watch for any patterns and interrelationships that emerge within this ecosystem. This program has seasonal limitations.

Curriculum connections:

Science & Technology

  • Grade 6 – Biodiversity, Grade 7 – Interactions in the Environment

Mathematics

  • Grades 6–8 – Measurement, Data Management & Probability

Ecology
Learners participate in a guided nature hike and will be introduced to the key concepts of animal and plant ecology. Through a variety of activities such as Project Wild games, learners will simulate the various animal responses to both natural and human influences impacting their ability to survive. Concepts such as ecosystem, habitat, trophic levels, food webs, and predator/prey relationships are integrated through a variety of Project Wild games. A follow-up session will include a discussion of the principles learned throughout this activity.

Curriculum connections:

Science & Technology

  • Grade 4 – Habitats and Communities, Grade 6 – Biodiversity, Grade 7 – Interactions in the Environment

Forestry/Forest Plantation Management
In this program, learners are introduced to basic tree anatomy and life history. Forest plantation management and the discussion of renewable resources prepare students for understanding specific field activities. Students may participate in pruning, limbing and selective cutting. Data regarding tree size, age, growth and health is collected in the forest. Back at the field centre this information is graphed and analyzed. All safety training and equipment are provided.

Curriculum connections:

Science & Technology

  • Grade 6 – Biodiversity, Grade 7 – Interactions in the Environment

Social Studies

  • Grade 4 – Canada’s Provinces, Territories, and Regions; Grade 7 – Natural Resources, Grade 8 – Economic Systems

Instincts for Survival
Learners will be involved in a simulation of predator/prey relationships while they play an active, outdoor food web game. After an introduction to set the parameters of the simulation, participants will assume the role of specific animals that are attempting to survive. Follow-up discussions involve the learner in gaining an understanding of animal ecology, as well as the impact of human activities on wildlife populations.

Curriculum connections:

Science & Technology

  • Grade 4 – Habitats and Communities, Grade 6 – Biodiversity, Grade 7 – Interactions in the Environment

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 5–8 – Active Participation

Trail Guide
Students act as park naturalists planning an interpretive trail and self-guided booklet. After taking a nature hike led by our staff, each group produces an illustrated trail guide. (Requires one and a half to two program periods.)

Curriculum Connections:

The Arts – Visual Arts

  • Grades 7 and 8

Science & Technology

  • Grade 6 – Biodiversity, Grade 7 – Interactions in the Environment

Social Studies

  • Geography: Grade 7 – Natural Resources

Contour Mapping
Students are introduced to the key features of topographical maps, with an emphasis on interpretation of contour lines. Learners will appreciate the value of contour maps to society through discussion and examples of real-life applications. Measurement of contour lines is demonstrated and will be performed by students in the field with the use of stadia rods and transits. Data obtained will be compiled, interpreted and translated by each group to build a contour map.

Curriculum connections:

Mathematics

  • Grades 7 and 8 – Number Sense and Numeration, Data Management, Geometry and Spatial Sense

Social Studies

  • Geography: Grade 7 – Themes of Geographic Inquiry, Patterns in Physical Geography

Score Orienteering
Whether at advanced or beginner levels, learners will find the orienteering challenge that is right for them. In this program, learners will become acquainted with the concept of orienteering. A brief indoor introduction ensures that students are comfortable with the basics of map interpretation and navigation using a compass. After familiarizing themselves with the map and compass reading, participants will travel in pairs to find the orienteering controls on the property.

Curriculum connections:

Geography

  • Grade 7 – Themes of Geographic Inquiry, Patterns in Physical Geography

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 5–8 – Active Participation

Photo Orienteering
In this program, learners will be introduced to or refine their compass navigational skills. Using a booklet of photographs, learners (in partners) will determine the exact location where each photograph was taken and prove that they have done so by the accuracy of their compass bearing taken at each site.

Curriculum Connections:

Mathematics

  • Grades 5–8 – Geometry & Spatial Sense

Social Studies

  • Geography: Grade 7 – Themes of Geographic Inquiry, Patterns in Physical Geography

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 5–8 – Active Participation

Treasure Mapping
Learners are introduced to the basics of map reading/making. Learners are equipped with all of the necessary supplies to create a map and hide a treasure. Paces and bearings are used to develop a route and clues are left to the location of the treasure. Maps and clues are traded and groups are challenged to search for another group’s treasure.

Curriculum connections:

Mathematics

  • Grades 5–8 – Geometry & Spatial Sense

Social Studies

  • Geography: Grade 7 – Themes of Geographic Inquiry, Patterns in Physical Geography, Grade 8 – Patterns in Human Geography

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 5–8 – Active Participation

Coureurs de Bois
This program introduces participants to the lifestyle of the “Runners of the Woods,” the early French settlers who traded with the First Nations Peoples for furs. After a brief introduction to their history and a discussion of the importance of the beaver pelt, learners participate in an orienteering and bartering activity that simulates a season as a Coureurs de Bois. Learners’ abilities to use their maps and make good trades will determine their success as a Coureurs de Bois.

Curriculum connections:

Social Studies

  • Grade 6 – First Nations Peoples and European Explorers; Geography: Grade 7 – Themes of Geographic Enquiry; History: Grade 7 – New France

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 5–8 – Active Participation

Native Studies
Students will learn about the history of Canada’s First Peoples, including their migration from Northeast Asia, some native cultural features, and a window into their daily life as suggested through examination of actual artefacts. The outdoor component includes activities that simulate the important traditions of hunting, gathering and trading.

Curriculum connections:

Social Studies:

  • Grade 3 – Early Settlements in Upper Canada, Grade 6 – First Nations Peoples and European Explorers

Pioneer Studies
Step back in time and experience life as a pioneer in Upper Canada. Learners will compare their lifestyle with that of the early pioneers. Learners participate in hands-on activities and discuss some of the experiences and hardships of the early pioneers.

Curriculum connections:

Social Studies

  • Grade 3 – Early Settlements in Upper Canada, Grade 6 – First Nations Peoples and European Explorers; History: Grade 7 – New France, Grade 8 – British North America

Environmental Impact Studies
This highly academic and integrated program will encourage participants to use their analytical skills and decision-making abilities to successfully determine the effects of urbanization on the natural community. After a brief introduction to the site, participants will use base mapping skills, data collection skills, research abilities, and powers of observation to gain sufficient knowledge to determine the impact of human activities. Participants may be required to hypothesize on the
effects of road construction, increased home or cottage building, farming impacts or the consequences of golf course maintenance. Presentations (written or oral) are at the discretion of
the visiting staff.

Curriculum connections:

Science

  • Grade 10 Academic – The Sustainability of Ecosystems; Grade 10 Applied – Ecosystems and Human Activity; Science Workplace Preparation – Grade 11: Human Impact on the Environment

Treewatch
In this community-based monitoring project, students “think globally and act locally” by assessing the health of a forest research plot. Using a standardized protocol that emphasizes accuracy, students observe and measure tree species, location, height and diameter. Data is compiled and will allow comparisons to be made, over time and between international locations, about the sustainability and biodiversity of our forest resource.

Curriculum connections:

Science & Technology

  • Grade 6 – Biodiversity, Grade 7 – Interactions in the Environment

Social Studies

  • Geography: Grade 7 – Themes of Geographic Inquiry, Patterns in Physical Geography, Natural Resources

Mathematics

  • Grades 6–8 – Number Sense & Numeration, Measurement, Data Management & Probability

Cross-country Skiing
Learners will be introduced to the essentials of cross-country skiing. An indoor session touches on the history of the sport, equipment requirements, proper sizing and safety considerations.
Skis, boots and poles are then distributed, followed by a group lesson which will present a step-by-step progression of techniques that will allow the learner to enjoy a cross-country ski
on the property. Learners are encouraged to incorporate cross-country skiing into a healthy, active lifestyle.

Curriculum connections:

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 4–8 – Fundamental Movement Skills, Active Participation

Group Dynamics
Learners work in groups to solve a variety of defined challenges. Team success depends upon a combination of cooperation, communication and physical and mental efforts from all individuals. Each group dynamic is designed to build a cooperative group spirit and at the same time instill self confidence in the learner and a mutual respect for team-mates.

Curriculum connections:

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 4–8 – Fundamental Movement Skills, Active Participation

Mini Olympics
Participants will enjoy taking part in a variety of non-traditional Olympic events. The class will be divided into teams. Each team chooses a name and cheer or slogan. A brief indoor period is given for teams to create their own flag and then the games begin! Weather permitting, activities are run at a combination of indoor and outdoor locations, and may include water-based events. Games focus less on skill and athletic ability but rather on creativity while encouraging cooperation and fun.

Curriculum connections:

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 4–8 – Fundamental Movement Skills, Active Participation

Nature Hike
Touch, taste, and smell each season as a member of our staff leads students on a hike through the different habitats on the property. Students may also participate in games and active simulations taken from the Project Wild Activity Guide.

Curriculum connections:

Science & Technology

  • Grade 4 – Habitats and Communities, Grade 6 – Biodiversity, Grade 7 – Interactions in the Environment

Snowshoeing
In this program, the learner is introduced to the basic skills of snowshoeing. An introduction covers the history of the snowshoe, as well as the essential techniques needed to enjoy a snowshoeing trail walk. This program is dependent upon suitable snow conditions.

Curriculum connections:

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 4–8 – Fundamental Movement Skills, Active Participation; Social Science: Grade 6 – First Nations Peoples and European Explorers

Wilderness Survival Skills
Working in a cooperative team situation, learners will understand and practice some important aspects of basic survival techniques in the outdoors. Each team will be challenged to construct a small cooking fire and/or shelter from natural materials. Key elements of this lesson stress a “no-trace” camping philosophy, as well as the safety aspects of preparation and planning for a successful outdoor experience.

Curriculum connections:

Science & Technology

  • Grade 5 – Forces Acting on Structures and Mechanisms

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 4–8 – Active Participation

Nature Art
Young artists are encouraged to look at the environment from a different perspective. Learners are introduced to different styles and techniques used to create impressions of nature. A combination of sketching, imprinting, creative writing, water colours and other techniques can be explored. Participants produce unique souvenirs of their outdoor experience.

Curriculum Connections:

The Arts

  • Visual Arts: Grades 3–8

Nature Photography
Learners will be introduced to, and develop awareness of, six key concepts in photography: lighting, colour, natural framing, rule of thirds, perspective and people in nature. These concepts will then be further explored through viewing a slideshow, solidifying the learners’ understanding of these key ideas. After a brief introduction to the field centre’s cameras, groups of four will share a camera on a nature hike to take photos incorporating several nature themes. Photos will be developed and returned for a ‘photo festival’ followup. There is an additional fee for film and processing.

Curriculum connections:

The Arts

  • Visual Arts: Grades 4–8

Campfire
Many groups enjoy the tradition of ending their visit with us at the campfire circle. This evening program allows participants to take part in and contribute their own songs, skits, games and stories. They will also have an opportunity to roast marshmallows and reflect on their trip. An emphasis is placed on safety considerations.

Clue Murder Mystery
Participate in an environmental murder mystery based on the board game Clue! Student ‘detectives’ will work together in small groups to come up with a strategy and use the process of elimination in determining who committed the crime, where the crime was committed and what type of weapon was used.

Eco-Jeopardy
Modeled after the popular television game show, participants will be divided into teams and challenged in a fun and interactive manner to answer environmentally-themed questions. Categories include such topics as wildlife, water, waste minimization, energy and climate change, and are meant to raise awareness of human impacts on the environment.

Environmental Stock Exchange
In this activity, students will become investors in the ‘Environmental Stock Market,’ buying and selling stocks based on the changing policies of different companies. Players will need to consider the long-term effects of company decisions on the earth and invest their money wisely.

Evening Hike
Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy the Albion Hills property under the cover of darkness while on a guided hike. They will use their senses to the best of their abilities and develop an appreciation for the specialization of the nocturnal world. With consideration given to theme, weather and time, possible activities include owl and coyote calling, solo walks/sits, moon mints, chalk sketching, colour vision testing, astronomy investigations, evening games, sound/smell recognition, and/or storytelling. By experiencing a variety of safe activities, it is the intention of this experience to relieve fears that may be associated with the darkness.

Curriculum connections:

Science & Technology

  • Grade 6 – Space

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 4–8 – Active Participation

Scavenger Hunt
Participants work cooperatively in small teams to collect a variety of information and natural items from nature. This activity provides a great opportunity for participants to have fun and be active outdoors and develop co-operative skills.

Curriculum connections:

Health & Physical Education

  • Grades 4–8 – Fundamental Movement Skills, Active Participation

Wide Games/Recreation
Participants will have an active and enjoyable set of both indoor and outdoor games and challenges to bring out the best in any group! Field centre staff will customize challenges based on the areas of focus identified by the group leader. Activities may span the areas of group/cooperative, athletic/sport, trust, recreational or just plain fun!



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