Program and Curriculum

 

Nature's Classroom believes that success in education requires experiential education as well as traditional classroom instruction and a mixture of both provides an effective way to reach all students. Every activity at Nature's Classroom is designed to connect participants to what they are learning by providing hands-on experiences for each of the subjects being taught.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS:

The Nature's Classroom Program Director works with each group's trip organizer to help design a program to best fit the needs and goals of the group. While the schedule and specific activity choices are customized for each group, Nature's Classroom's program consists of various combinations of the following program components: Field Group, Classes, Large Group Activities, Evening Activities, and some groups also choose to add one or more Adventure Options.

Click on the following links to learn more about each of these program elements.

Field Group - Field Groups are an important part of every program and are a participant's core small group during their time at Nature's Classroom. Field Groups consist of up to 16 students, an adult chaperone, and a Nature's Classroom teacher. Field Groups hike together, dine together, participate in team-building activities together, and some evening/large group activities also take place in Field Groups. Click here for more information about Field Groups.

Classes - Classes are structured activities lasting between 60 and 100 minutes that cover a variety of academic areas. The trip organizer chooses the specific classes to be offered to the group. The 25 most popular classes are listed here but Nature's Classroom has hundreds of lesson plans on file and can also custom design classes for any group with specific requests or areas of interest. Click here for more information about Classes.

Large Group Activities - Large Group Activities provide an opportunity for shared experiences in bigger groups; this can mean multiple Field Groups working together or the whole group participating together. In addition to the Evening Activities that can double as Large Group Activities, other options for Large Group Activities include: Survival in the Woods, Scavenger Hunt, and International Meal. Click here for more information about Large Group Activities.

Evening Activities - For multi-day programs, Evening Activities are often some of participants’ favorite parts of the program. After dinner and after dark, opportunities for learning abound while participating in a Night Hike or other activity. Some activities most often utilized as Evening Activities can also be conducted during the day, such as: Folk Games, Night Live, Science Fair, Invention Convention, and Environmental Hearing. Weather permitting, every evening at Nature’s Classroom finishes with a Reflection story and a snack around the campfire. Click here for more information about Evening Activities.

Adventure Options - Some groups choose to add one or more of Nature's Classroom's optional adventure activities. These activities provide a great opportunity for participants to challenge themselves and gain a sense of personal accomplishment and growth. All challenge activities at Nature's Classroom operate under Challenge By Choice ethics, which emphasize participants setting their own goals, choosing their own level of challenge, and creating an atmosphere in which everyone feels comfortable pushing themselves to do their best! Click here for more information about Adventure Options.

PROGRAM SCHEDULES:

The different Nature's Classroom program components are combined in various sequences to create a customized schedule for each group. Therefore, every program schedule is different and can vary greatly based on the length of the program and the specific activities selected. Nature's Classroom was originally designed as a 5-day program, however we understand that not all groups can attend a full week. Below are links to basic sample schedules for 2 to 5 day programs. What is not reflected in the samples are the optional Adventure and Large Group Activities, which (if chosen) would take the place of a Class or Field Group.

Click on the following links to view basic sample schedules for multi-day programs.

5-Day Schedule 4-Day Schedule 3-Day Schedule 2-Day Schedule

Nature's Classroom realizes that not all groups are able to attend multi-day programs. One-day programs create the opportunity for any group to attend and benefit from the Nature's Classroom experience! With flexible arrival and departure times, one-day programs can last anywhere from four to eight hours.

P.O. Box 400 - Mentone, AL - 35984 - natures@hiwaay.net - (800) 995-4769