Geneva Hills offers many outdoor nature education classes for schools, churches, civic or private groups, and individuals. Geneva Hills brings the classroom outside and teaches stewardship of the Earth through the study of the natural environment.
We utilize the American Outdoor Schools curriculum for our experiential education. American Outdoor Schools curriculum is designed to reinforce science concepts learned at school through experiential education, since studying the natural environment cannot always occur within the classroom setting. Students can increase their knowledge of the outdoor world through direct observation and exploration.
5th GRADE “DISCOVERERS”
The Discoverers curriculum focuses on using the senses to observe and understand the natural community and its various components.
Connecting With Our Community: This class provides an introduction to the outdoor school week by focusing on the various aspects of the natural world. Developing a sense of community among students is the first step in relaying this concept. Various sensory and exploration activities allow the students to become aware of the diversity in the natural community, and recognize their role within it.
Understanding Animals: There are many different kinds of animals, specifically designed for certain habitats. Through exploring the camp community and observing a variety of consumers the students will better understand and appreciate the connection between structure and function. Through classifying and grouping animals, students can begin to see the complexities in nature.
Asking The Birds: Students will examine the structural design of birds’ feathers, beaks, and feet, as well as dissect an owl pellet. These activities allow students to observe and understand the uniqueness and incredible design of the birds. CA Science standards 2, 6a
Tremendous Trees: Examining the design of plants and their role in providing food and oxygen to consumers, each student will develop an appreciation of producers in the community. Students will collect and examine various plants, and explore and discuss the design and importance of each part of the plant. CA Science standards 2a, 2e, 2f
Lost and Found: Using teamwork and problem-solving skills, students will serve as a member of a search team to find a “missing person.” They will also discuss reasons people become lost, and learn skills to prevent such a situation, as well as ways to increase their chances of being rescued in an emergency.
Nocturnal Games: This evening class utilizes the nighttime environment and non-threatening games to help students develop an appreciation and enjoyment of an aspect of nature that many fear. This is accomplished by active games based on nocturnal animals and their behavior.
Wet and Wild – the Cycle of Life: This class uses the water cycle to examine the importance of water for life in the community. Activities include a student performance of the water cycle and a thorough investigation of the diversity of life in a riparian environment.
Creepy, Crawly Creatures: In this class, students are introduced to the largest class of living creatures: insects. Through collection, observation and identification, the vital role and amazing diversity of insects will be illustrated. Emphasis will be placed on classification of insects and a structural comparison to other arthropods.
b: Using observation games, discussions, and stories, the students will be challenged to apply their knowledge about the natural community to develop a sense of personal responsibility for taking care of the earth.
6th GRADE “EXPLORERS”
The Explorers curriculum concentrates on exploring nature in order to understand and appreciate the concept of interdependence within the ecosystem.
Encountering Our Ecosystem: Focusing on the concept that all things must work together for all to survive, this class provides an overview to the outdoor school week. Students will use their senses to develop an awareness of the ecosystem’s components, and the resources they provide.
Group Initiatives: Students are taught team-working skills such as cooperation, communication, and trust. They will be presented with a series of challenges, which require them to work together as a group. After each challenge, students are led in an assessment of their actions, roles, and use of team-building skills. Focus is on a better understanding of human communities and an appreciation of their diverse members.
Focusing on Foundations: Without soil, life could not exist on earth. Students take on the role of “scientists,” discovering the essential components of soil, and how it is formed from both biotic and abiotic materials. Students will investigate the dynamic processes of weathering, erosion, and decomposition as part of the cycle of life.
Exploring the World of Animals: This class focuses on the relationship between animals and their habitats. The connections in the food web, as well as population variations, are examined. Simulations, observations, and graphing and interpreting data illustrate carrying capacities and resource dependency within an ecosystem.
Growing, Growing, Gone: Plants are an essential part of the earth and play a major role in the web of life, as the converters of the sun’s energy. By exploring the indigenous plants and utilizing games, students will learn what plants require for growth, and their importance to our survival.
It Only Takes A Spark: Students will use plants as a resource to provide heat energy in a survival situation. Understanding the reasons and circumstances in which a fire should be built is an underlying objective of this class. Students will practice this skill, with consideration of safety and wise use of resources.
Rocks That Roll: This class leads students to an appreciation of the importance of rocks and minerals to the ecosystem, and as a resource. Students will learn basic skills of mineral identification, and understand how rocks are classified based on how they were formed.
Developing Night Awareness: The night hike introduces students to the world of nocturnal animals, explores how they are designed to live at night, and discovers how we may share the darkness with them. This class time is devoted to nocturnal experiments, silently exploring the darkened camp and listening for the sounds of the night.
Finding the Way: Students will learn ways to find direction in the wilderness, and develop the basic skills of orienteering. This will involve reading and taking bearings, completing a compass course, and utilizing a topographic map to plan a wilderness trip.
Practicing Wilderness Manners: This session wraps up the outdoor school week through a variety of activities that challenge the students to analyze their role in taking care of the earth.
7th GRADE “INVESTIGATORS”
The Investigators curriculum is centered on collecting and analyzing data about the natural world, and considering the students’ role in being stewards of the earth.
Interdependence/Land Use Study: Students will become part of a research team, and will begin by learning characteristics that are important for teamwork. By using a variety of problem-solving games, the students will learn to work together to find solutions. These activities also serve to emphasize interdependence, both in the human community and in the natural ecosystem. Student groups will be introduced to a land use study, developing ideas for utilization of the natural community.
Water You Know: This class involves an in-depth study of water as an essential component of the ecosystem. By measuring the quality of the available water supply with various chemical tests, and examining the diversity of life in and around the water, students will realize the importance of water to the ecosystem, and how humans can influence the quality and availability of the water supply.
Investigating the Night Sky: The amazing subject of astronomy introduces the students to the basic components of our universe. Students will learn the characteristics of stars, and learn to identify some constellations. The class will involve extensive observation of constellations and other heavenly bodies that are visible (weather permitting).
Probing Producers: Focusing on plants as a vital member of the natural community, students will examine the life cycles of plants, emphasizing pollination and seed development. Observing the structural diversity among plants, students will learn to classify some of the indigenous plants using appropriate field guides.
Investigation Foundations: Students will conduct a detailed analysis of soil, measuring characteristics such as texture, structure, and compaction. Activities include a series of physical and chemical tests, and use of models to evaluate the quality and use of the soil.
Analyzing Animals: This class will focus on the needs of animals, and how human and environmental factors affect their survival, individually and as a species. Students will observe animals in their habitats, and use a simulated ecosystem to learn how human activity can result in species’ extinction.
Surviving in the Wilderness: This class focuses on how the nature is able to provide our basic needs for survival. Students will learn the importance of maintaining body heat, using the natural resources in the area to build a shelter. They will also learn how to secure water and food, specifically wild edibles.
Land Use Proposal/Stewardship: In the final class, students analyze the data they have collected during their stay and develop an appropriate plan of land use that demonstrates good stewardship. Students will be challenged to examine their impact on the natural environment, their role as stewards, and their specific responsibilities to preserve the earth.
Our Resident Outdoor Education (ROE) program is a nature education program that satisfies various Ohio educational standards. We offer programming for private and public schools as well as home school groups.