Warren County Conservation naturalists do outreach programs in local school classroom.  Here is a list of our program offerings, listed by grade. Please contact Karen at (515) 961-6169 if you would like to arrange for a naturalist to visit your classroom or email karenjohlas-szalkowski@warrenccb.org.

Warren County Conservation

Naturalist Program Ideas

Have a program topic not on our list? Please let us know and the naturalists will tailor an educational program to fit your needs.

Pre-K-Kindergarten

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothes

Students will listen to the story “Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothes.” They will learn about how animals are adapted for survival in their environment. Students will try on different clothes and compare how an animal’s fur, skin, scales, or feathers provide the same warmth, waterproofing, etc. that different clothes provide.

Chickens Aren’t the only ones

Listen to Guess What is Growing Inside This Egg and discover birds aren’t the only animals that lay eggs. Students will have a chance to examine bird replica eggs, discuss the life cycle of a bird, and possibly see live chicks.

Birds

Read the story Bird Calls, hear different bird sounds, examine bird mounts, and make a bird craft.

The Mitten

Students will hear the story The Mitten by Jan Brett with the use of a giant mitten. They will learn about some of the animals in the story and make a mitten craft.

Fishing Fun

Listen to the story Catfish, Cod, Salmon, and Scrod, learn about IA fish, cast a line for magnetic fish, andsing a fish song.

Bear Snores On

Bear might spend most of his winter asleep but find out what other animals do during the winter months. Listen to the story Bear Snores On and look at animal furs & skulls from the story.

Earth Day & Recycle

Students will learn about reducing, reusing and recycling. They will listen to the story Earth Day, find out ways they can help the environment, and make a recycled craft.

Insect Basics

So what makes an insect an insect? Learn about an insect’s life cycle, body parts, and unique features. There may be a visit from the hissing cockroaches.

Let it Snow

In Iowa we are almost always guaranteed snow during the winter months, but what exactly do you know about the white stuff, besides school gets cancelled when it falls? In this program we will learn about the basic shapes of snowflakes, how snowflakes are created, study fallen snow, and why in your lifetime you will never see two snowflakes that are identical.

Furry Animals

Students will learn about furry animals found in Iowa and touch different animal furs. They will also play a fun animal tail game.

Wild Turkeys

This hands on activity will teach students about habitat, predators, diet, and special characteristics of the wild turkey. They will also hear a fun hide and seek story, play a game, listen to a turkey call, touch feathers, and see a replica egg.

Busy Beavers

Learn all about a beavers special adaptations. Students will have a chance to climb in a human sized beaver lodge, feel a fur, and examine a skull.

Furry Animals

Students will learn about furry animals found in Iowa, where each animals lives, and what an animal needs to survive. They will have a chance to feel different animal furs and play a fun animal tail game.

Wild Turkeys

This hands on activity will teach students about habitat, predators, diet, and special characteristics of the wild turkey. They will also hear a fun hide and seek story, play a game, listen to a turkey call, touch feathers, and see a replica egg.

Spring is Here

Students will listen to a story about spring, learn about animals from the story, play spring bingo and sing a spring song. They will have a chance to see animal mounts and furs from the story.

First & Second Grade

Wiggly Wonderful Worms

Listen to the story Diary of A Worm, identify body parts of the worm, and explore how they move, and their importance to the soil environment. There will be live earthworm visitors to wiggle around.

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds

Student will listen to the Tiny Seed, learn about the parts of seed, experiment with a bean seed, learn how seeds travel, and look at different seed types. Mushrooms are different then seeds, but find out more about fantastic fungi.

Fabulous Flower

Students will learn about the life cycle of a plant, parts of flower, and animal usage of flowers. They will demonstrate their knowledge by building a flower with veggies.

Bat Loves the Night

Learn about bats through the story Bat Loves the Night. Using a puppet and pictures, we will discuss what makes bats so neat and show why they are not so scary. Several real, but not alive, bats will be shown to students.

Lessons from the Lorax

This program uses Dr. Suess’ book The Lorax to help students better understand the idea of wise use of our natural resources. Throughout the story we will discuss the decisions that were made and what could have been done differently. Children will make their own truffula tree.

Munching Mouths

Learn about how insects have special adaptations for eating various foods. Students will move around the room trying out various insect mouthparts to see which mouth munches which food. There may be a visit from the hissing cockroaches.

Salamander Room

We will read The Salamander Room. Students will learn why salamanders are amphibians, know their life cycle, and play a salamander game. A real, live salamander will come visit as well.

Honeybees

Listen to the story Honeybees by Eric Carle, learn about the importance of honeybees, their life cycle, and products from the hive. There might be a surprise peek at live bees inside our portable beehive. (Portable beehive April-May only)

Habitats

Students will examine natural objects to try and determine which habitat is being represented. They will learn what a habitat is and how each is different from one another and how important even backyard habitats are for plants and wildlife.

Landforms

Students will what a landform is and different types of landforms found around the world. They will divide into groups and describe a landform. Then each group will create their own landforms with clay and share with the class.

 

Third and Fourth Grade

Water Cycle

Water is continually in motion and ever changing. Students will learn about how water cycles through the environment and changes forms. They will become a water droplet and travel from station to station to make a water cycle bracelet.

Creatures of the Night

From bats to owls, meet the creatures that wake up once the sun has set. Find out about adaptations these creatures have for nocturnal living. This program works well as a night hike too.

Phases of the Moon

Have you every wondered why the moon changes, or what it would be like to live on the moon? Learn all about what its like on the moon and the moon phases. Students will listen to Phases of the Moon and participate in a yummy Oreo activity to visually show each moon phase.

Prairie Pioneers

Meet a 1860s pioneer woman. Follow her on her move west by visiting the general store, packing up the wagon and making important decisions on her family’s way to life on the Iowa prairie. Optional make your own butter and cracker snack.

Animal Classification

Learn the differences between a mammal, fish, bird, reptile, and amphibian. Special features of each group will be discussed. Students will demonstrate their understanding of each animal group through an animal vertebrate grab game.

Native American Games

This active lesson will allow students to play games from different Native American tribes. They will learn about each game and how games helped perfect a skill necessary for survival.

Beaks and Feet

Learn about what make a bird different from other vertebrates. Students will become birds and travel from station to station to see what type of beak works best for each food. They will look at pictures of various beaks and feet.

Owl & Pellets

Learn about the owls of Iowa, find out about the special adaptations of owls, and dissect an owl pellet. Students will get to see taxidermy animals.

Migration Madness

Students will learn about the wide variety of animals that migrate and why they do. They will participate in an activity to discover the challenges animals can face during migration.

Tree Factory

Students will learn the parts of a tree from inside to outside. They will become a tree to better understandhow a tree functions. They will observe a tree ring and determine the trees age.

Soil Exploration

Students will learn about what makes up soil, different types of soil, and how soil is important for plants and animals. Students will use clay, sand, and plants for a hands-on experience in determining the difference in soils.

Fall Colors

Learn about the science of why the leafs change color and what the trees do in the winter. Students will look at real leafs and make a leaf craft.

Fifth & Sixth Grade

Phases of the Moon

Have you every wondered why the moon changes, or what it would be like to live on the moon? Learn all about what its like on the moon and the moon phases. Students will listen to Phases of the Moon and participate in a yummy Oreo activity to visually show each moon phase.

Trees

Students will learn tree identification, parts of tree, and the benefits of trees to the environment.

Geology Rocks

This program focuses on Iowa geology. Students will learn the three main types of rocks. They will enjoy making a cookie that features rocks of Iowa “fruit” and learn about how these rocks are used. (This program takes an hour, please advise WCCB of any food allergies prior to scheduling)

Who Dung it?

Although it may be difficult to see some of Iowa’s animals, they do leave many clues behind. The challenge is to figure out who left those clues. Students will become detectives to help solve the mystery of just who“dung it” in Iowa. Students will identify and learn about various species through hands on discoveries.

Skullduggery

Students learn how to tell an omnivore, carnivore and herbivore apart by looking at their teeth. They also use a simply key to discover which species skulls belong to.

Wetland Wonders

Students will learn the importance of wetlands to humans and wildlife. They will become part of a wetland to demonstrate how wetlands serve as filters and provide other benefits to the environment.

In Danger

Students will participate in a hands-on game to learn how animal populations can decline. We will explore what this leads to, what it means for a species to be endangered or threatened and learn about at-risk species in Iowa.

Dream Catchers

The children will discover the history behind the dream catcher and make one of their own. This crafty lesson fits in nicely with any Native American lesson.

Leave No Trace

Participants will be introduced to the Leave No Trace Principles and explore their own outdoor ethic through activities and games.

Winter Survival

After your student’s finish reading Hatchet or another wilderness survival based book, bring them to the Annett Nature Center to experience survival shelter and fire building.

Archery

This program promotes student education and participation in the life long sport of archery. The program’s focus is to provide International style target archery training in physical education classes. All archery equipment will be provided and can be presented inside most gyms or outdoor areas.

Middle School and High School

Archery

This program promotes student education and participation in the life long sport of archery. The program’s focus is to provide International style target archery training in physical education classes. All archery equipment will be provided and can be presented inside most gyms or outdoor areas.

Atlatl

Atlatls are ancient tools used to hunt mega fauna. The atlatl was a result of early humans realizing that throwing a spear by hand was not effective, so they designed a tool. This program is designed for outside only and could easily be a field trip activity. Test your skills at spear throwing.

GPS

Using handheld GPS units, students learn about how satellites and modern technology help us find our way. Map reading and orienteering may be combined with GPS. This activity can be done in the classroom with an outside component.

Osprey

This PowerPoint presentation will introduce students to osprey, their life cycle, and migration route. They will see an osprey mount, wings, replica egg, and learn about the reintroduction of osprey in IA and hacking project that was completed at Annett Nature Center.

Programs for All Ages

Live Animal Programs

Enjoy a classroom visit from hissing cockroaches, turtles, snakes, or salamander. Each program will feature the characteristics of the animal and possibly a craft or game that is age appropriate.

Star Lab

This portable and inflatable planetarium provides a unique way for students to learn about earth science and astronomy without leaving the school building! Star Lab programs that are available include: Greek  Constellations, Native America Constellations, Plate Tectonics, The Solar System and Milky Way Galaxy, and The Navigation Stars of Lewis and Clark (requires the “Navigation Stars of Lewis and Clark” classroom program).

Snowshoeing

Don’t spend all winter inside watching it snow, join us to get out and explore the park on snowshoes. Snowshoeing is easy and a great way to experience park. This activity can be tied into surface area and PSI experiments.

Monarch Migration

Students will learn about the life cycle of a monarch butterfly, host plants, monarch migration, and how to tag monarch for research. During late summer-early fall a live monarch may be brought to the classroom to tag for research.

Tracks

Have you ever seen an animal track in the mud or snow and wondered who made it? During this program students will become animal detectives and learn how to identify common Iowa mammal tracks and read the story they have left behind.

Shocking Developments

Students will learn about different type of electricity, where it is found, and how it is used.

FOSS Kit Complementary Programs

Let the naturalists create a fun and interactive program to complement your FOSS Kit.