Nature Study Series for Homeschoolers
Seven Ponds Nature Center is an ideal outdoor classroom where children can experience nature first hand. In this series of programs, our experienced staff and well trained volunteer naturalists guide children toward an awareness and appreciation of our natural world, using hands-on activities, specimens, slide shows, and nature walks. These programs complement state science objectives and focus on specific ecological concepts. To encourage individual participation on the trail, children will be divided into groups of about 15 students. Fee: $4.00 per person (Participating adults also pay this fee.) For more information or to pre-register your child, please call (810) 796-3200.
Wednesday, March 21, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Journaling in Nature – Spring Equinox
Grades 2 and Up
Students will learn nature journaling techniques while focusing on signs of spring along the trail. This class includes creative writing, sketching, practicing listening skills, and may other activities while in the natural world. This class will encourage students to deepen their observational skills, strengthen creative and technical writing, and give a greater appreciation of nature.
Wednesday, April 25, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Grades 1 and 2
Concept: Plant Lifecycles
Green plants are all around us, in the forest, prairie, fields, and wetlands. Students will get the opportunity to explore this green natural world. Through applied investigations and discussion, students will learn about the amazing life cycles of many plants, as well as the interesting relationships between plants and animals.
Cattails to Crayfish
Grades 3 and 4
Concept: Adaptations of Living Things
The natural world presents challenges to all living things. Using dips nets, students will explore the nature center’s deep glacial lakes and ponds looking for the many different plant and animal groups found there and the adaptations they have to survive in their watery environments.
Grades 5 and 6
Concept: Animals and their Environment
Lakes, ponds, and streams present a variety of challenges for the organisms residing in them. Plants and animals have many structural and behavioral adaptations for life in these wetland environments. Indoors we will take a close-up look at a variety of these adaptations by examining prepared specimens and a slide show. Then we will hike to the ponds for a pond dipping session which will give students a first-hand look at many pond organisms and an understanding of what it takes to survive in the water.
Thursday, May 10, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Spring Bird Walk #1
Ages 10 years and up
On this walk, we will look for resident birds and early migrant birds passing through Seven Ponds, and some setting up territories. We will practice our birding skills using our binoculars and spotting scopes. Please bring your own binoculars or you can borrow a pair from us.
Wednesday, May 16, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Rocks! The Building Blocks of Nature
Grades K – 2 and Grades 3 – 6
We will spend the afternoon learning about what a rock is, and how important rocks are to the plants and animals. This session will be divided into younger and older groups of learners. The younger learner will focus on living and nonliving characteristics and the rock cycle through hands-on investigations. The older learners will focus on rock and mineral identification, rock cycle, and ecosystems.
Thursday, June 7, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Spring Bird Walk #2
Ages 10 years and up
At this time of the year, birds have set up territories and are nesting. We will look for birds called warblers, and other insect eaters that have come back to town. We will practice our birding skills using our binoculars and spotting scopes. Please bring your own binoculars or you can burrow a pair from us.