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Curriculum-Based School ProgramsWatkins Nature Center offers specific curriculum based programs for elementary school groups. Most programs generally last about 45 minutes. All programs are by reservation only. *Effective 5/1/2010, the fee for on-site programs is $2 per student for Prince George's County and Montgomery County Schools, and $3 per student for non-county schools.* A limited number of adult chaperones and teachers will be admitted free, additional adults will be charged the same rate as students. For fees for off-site programs, please call the nature center. Reservations should be made by calling Watkins Nature Center (301-218-6702) at least 2 weeks in advance. Six to eight weeks in advance is recommended for spring programs as we book up fast. Please plan to be on time. Large groups may have to be divided into smaller groups. Listed below are the program titles, descriptions, and grade levels.
Making Sense of Nature (Pre-K-K)Use your senses to meet animals and learn in a child-friendly way to touch and enjoy nature. Students will: 1) identify the 5 senses and the related body parts, 2) classify objects based on sensory information to include color, texture, size, sound, taste, or shape.
Wild Things (Pre-k-adult)
Targeted to your age group, naturalist choose several live animals to introduce, which can include reptiles, mammals, or birds of prey. Students will: 1) identify the different characteristics of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, and 2) learn about local animal species.
Be An Earth Saver (2nd-5th grade)
This program is offered September - May. Describes how to be an earth saver by recycling, reducing, and reusing garbage and identifies the recycling symbol (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle). Students will identify and sort items, which can be recycled. Note: No live animals are used in this program.
Reptiles & Amphibians (1st-adult)
Meet local & exotic snakes, turtles, frogs and toads. Students will: 1) observe the life cycle characteristics of an amphibian, 2) describe the differences between a reptile and an amphibian, and 3) investigate and explore the behavioral patterns of reptiles and amphibians.
Dinosaurs (1st-2nd grade)
This program is offered September - May. Learn about the dinosaurs of Maryland and the United States. Students will: 1) learn what a fossil is 2) describe what scientists can infer about dinosaurs based on fossilized remains, and 3) theorize why dinosaurs are not living today.
Insects vs. Spiders (2nd-3rd grade)
Compare and contrast the differences between insects and spiders. Students will: 1) identify the different characteristics of insects and spiders, 2) learn about the varying life cycles of insects, and 3) investigate and explore predictable behavioral patterns of insects and spiders.
Birds of Prey (2nd grade-adult)
Meet several of our live resident hawks, owls, or vultures. Students will: 1) classify animals according to their diet, 2) describe the interdependence of living things within an ecosystem, and 3) describe behavioral and physical adaptations of birds.
Animals in Winter (2nd-adult)
This program is offered December - February. Learn how local animals survive the winter. Students will: 1) define migration and identify animals that migrate, 2) define hibernation and identify animals that hibernate, and 3) describe habitat and resource availability during winter months.
Web of Life (2nd-5th grade)
Learn about the food chains in nature and their connections. Meet some live animals and learn how they get their dinner. Students will: 1) learn what a food chain is, and 2) describe the interdependence of living things within an ecosystem.
Indians of Southern Maryland (3rd-6th grade)
This program is offered September - May. Compare and contrast the Native Piscataway's use of natural resources in their daily lives with our use of natural resources in our daily lives. This program incorporates the use of slides, Native American artifacts, and replicas. Group size is limited to 30 students. Note: No live animals are used in this program.
Rocks & Minerals (4th-6th grade)
This program is offered September - May. Learn various uses of rocks and classify them according to their properties. Students will: 1) identify that rocks are composed of minerals, 2) describe properties of rocks to include color, size, weight, shape & texture, and 3) describe the formation of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Group size is limited to 30 students. Note: No live animals are used in this program.
Discovery Hike (1st grade-adult)
Targeted to your age group, naturalists will identify some common trees and plants, identify poison ivy, and look for signs of wildlife. Group will enjoy a 45-minute walk on our trails. Please dress appropriately for the weather. Group size is limited to 15-20 persons per naturalist.
How are we doing?If you have participated in one of our programs, please let us know your thoughts. Complete a survey by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/s/9RGXGMX.