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Primary Education Programs

Programs are half-day unless indicated otherwise. Select two programs that complement your classroom study for a rewarding full day of fun and learning. The grade(s) stated below each program name are strongly linked to the Ontario curriculum. We will work directly with you to combine or modify programs to meet your needs.

For details on booking any of these programs, please see information under "Booking your Visit." 

Programs

A Cub's Life
Kindergarten to Grade 2 (year round)
In this modified Instincts for Survival game, animal families (led by an adult) must meet their survival needs while eluding predators and human influences. As students role-play a specific wild animal in a natural setting, they are introduced to many ecological principles such as predator/prey relationships, food chains and the concept of energy flow within an ecosystem. 

This program best succeeds with an average of 5 adult volunteers acting as animal family leaders.

Air and Water in the Environment
Grade 2 & 3 (spring/fall)
In this interactive program, students develop a better understanding of the importance of clean air and water for all living organisms, including humans. Through experimentation, hands-on activities and role-playing exercises, young scientists will investigate the characteristics of air and water, identify sources of water in the natural environment and learn how air and water impact our weather and energy systems.  In addition, students will assess the impact of human activities on our environment and will be introduced to the efforts of Conservation Authorities in watershed management and conservation.

This program best succeeds with an average of 5 adult volunteers to assist in facilitation of activity stations

Birds, Beavers and Bugs
Grades 2 & 3 (spring/fall)
​Following an introduction to animal classification, life cycles and seasonal adaptations, students will further explore 6 main classes of animals through hands on investigation. Students will learn the identifying characteristics of each class as they examine wildlife artifacts and participate in an interactive series of stations. Next, students will use the knowledge they have gained as they hike through the forest, collecting clues and eliminating animal species, enabling them to solve a wildlife mystery occurring at the Tiffin Centre.

This program best succeeds with an average of 5 adult volunteers to assist with supervision of the children.

Early Settler Life
Grade 3 (fall/winter/spring)
Looking at various roles within a pioneer village, students will gain an understanding of how early settlers created their own food, shelter and clothing using resources from the natural environment. On a guided hike, students will learn the dependence of pioneer settlements on local plant and wildlife populations. A snowshoe hike is available, weather permitting.

Focus on Forests
Grades 3 & 4 (all seasons)
After viewing the animated Dr. Seuss classic film "The Lorax" and discussing its conservation message, students will investigate the structure, ecology and importance of trees through a variety of grade appropriate activities. A thorough examination of the components of the forest ecosystem will give students a deeper appreciation of the significance of the forest as a wildlife habitat.

Life in the Pond
Kindergarten to Grade 2 (spring/fall)
Following an interactive introduction to pond ecosystems, students will explore the fascinating world within ponds as they dip net in search of aquatic life. Through hands-on discovery and other age-appropriate activities, students will investigate and identify the survival needs and life cycles of various pond plants and animals. By sharing their discoveries at the Tiffin "Zoo", students will have an opportunity to compare common characteristics and the amazing adaptations of pond creatures for life under water. Students will be encouraged to share their thoughts on how humans can help to maintain a healthy environment.

Living Landscape
All Grades (all seasons)
Become inspired by the natural beauty of the Tiffin Centre through guided outdoor landscape drawing sessions.

Lost in the Woods
Grades 1 to 3 (all seasons)

Based on a short film of the same title, this program introduces young explorers to basic wilderness survival/life skills. Through a discussion of the film, students will review ways to prevent becoming lost and the measures they can take if they find themselves alone in the wilderness.  In this program, students will learn how to be better prepared for outdoor adventure and will develop their map-reading abilities through a short, orienteering scavenger hunt.  The importance of survival kits and how to stay warm and dry through appropriate dress and shelter building will also be emphasized. If time permits, students will have an opportunity to assemble their own mini-survival kits.

Maple Syrup
Kindergarten to Grade 3 (spring)
As a half-day program, this modified "Focus on Forests" program introduces students to the ecology of the maple tree and the production of maple syrup.  An experiential tour of a working sugar bush displays the First Nations, pioneer and modern-day methods of making maple syrup through stories, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.  Students will also be given an opportunity to develop their map reading skills by participating in our maple sugar bush orienteering scavenger hunt.

There is also a one-hour tour option for a cost of $5 per student.

Nature Discovery Hike
Kindergarten & Grade 1 (all seasons)
After identifying the location and function of their sense organs, children will explore nature through experiential activities aimed to heighten awareness of the world around them. Students will also compare the use of senses in various animals and investigate ways in which animals respond and adapt to their environment and to seasonal changes.

Nature's Art Room
Grades 1 to 3 (spring/fall)
On a guided hike, students will gather appropriate natural materials to incorporate into their own artistic creation. Once back at the Learning Centre, students will combine their natural materials with human-made items to create their own masterpiece. This program aims to inspire an appreciation of the natural world while further developing age-appropriate skills in the Visual Arts. 

Seeds, Weeds and Wildflowers
Grades 3 & 4 (spring/fall)
Students will explore the world of plants and their incredible adaptations to various habitats including woodlands, open fields and wetlands.  Participants will learn to identify the major parts of plants, how to classify plants and the importance of plants to both wildlife and humans.

Soils in the Environment
Grade 3 (spring/fall)
Students become soil specialists as they investigate soil through first-hand observation and exploration. Using a variety of hands-on activities, students will identify and compare physical characteristics of various soil types found in different habitats (i.e. forest, field).  Young scientists will also examine the various biotic and abiotic components of a soil ecosystem and will observe and record information on plant and animal life.  The importance of soil and the dependency of all living things on soil will be reinforced.

This program best succeeds with an average of 5 adult volunteers to help facilitate activity stations.

Splash - Water in the Environment
Grade 2 (all seasons)
Following a short, animated movie that details the life of a water droplet, students embark on their own journey through the water cycle. Through this active, role-playing game, students will identify the forms in which water is present in the environment, realize the importance of water in their daily lives and better understand how water becomes contaminated. Students will be exposed to the efforts Conservation Authorities in watershed management and conservation.

Winter Wildlife
Grades 1 to 3 (winter)
This program introduces students to the main groups of animals, their characteristics, habitats, tracks, and traces. Students then become wildlife detectives, looking for signs of wildlife in their natural habitats. Adaptations of wildlife to survive the winter will be emphasized while trekking through the woods on snowshoes, weather permitting.

Orienteering Programs

Animal Amble
Kindergarten & Grade 1 (all seasons)
Grouped with an adult leader, students are challenged to find pictures of animals along a well-marked interpretive trail. Students will match and record symbols on the markers and respond verbally to questions related to the animal highlighted at each location. This fun, orienteering scavenger hunt further develops students' understanding of wildlife and their habitats while introducing them to basic map reading skills.

This program best succeeds with an average of 5 adult volunteers to assist with supervision of children.

Bird - O
Grades 2 & 3 (all seasons)
In this program, students are introduced to basic map reading skills through a series of progressively challenging activities.  Beginning with an orienteering exercise in and/or around the Environmental Learning Centre, students will gain the confidence and skills necessary to locate pictures of birds along a well-marked interpretive trail using their own maps. In addition, students will participate in a variety of indoor, hands-on stations, highlighting the characteristics and unique adaptations of our feathered friends. If time permits, students will also have an opportunity to play Bird-O bingo: using bird calls to identify different bird species on their playing cards.

This program best succeeds with an average of 5 adult volunteers to assist with supervision of children.

Bug-a-Boo
Grades 1 & 2 (all seasons)
In this program, students are introduced to basic map reading skills through a series of progressively challenging activities.  Beginning with an orienteering exercise in the Environmental Learning Centre, students will gain the confidence and skills necessary to locate pictures of insects along a well-marked interpretive trail in small groups with an adult leader. Students will match and record symbols on the markers and respond verbally to questions related to the insect highlighted at each location. This fun, orienteering scavenger hunt develops students' understanding of insect life while providing a hike around Tiffin's beautiful wetland habitats.

This program best succeeds with an average of 5 adult volunteers to assist with supervision of children.