ASTRONOMY The Deep Portage astronomy lesson conforms to what the sky has to offer. We have 20 slides that show the students up close pictures of the planets in our solar and moon system. If the sky is clear we move out onto the pond or an open field where students can locate the moon, planets, and constellations in the night sky. If students have binoculars, this is a perfect opportunity for them to practice focusing. If the sky is clouded we have an indoor lesson which allows us to be flexible. A popular indoor activity allows the students to create their own constellations and story.
BAT PROGRAM Bats are fast becoming a favorite mammal for many students. Bats help with insect control, pollination, and their guano holds an important decomposing bacteria. As they view an amazing slide show, your students will learn all about bat ecology, explore myths surrounding bats, and learn about the important niche that they occupy in the natural world.
BLANDING’S TURTLE HURDLES Put on your running shoes and get ready for an action packed endangered species class. The Blanding’s Turtle is a beautiful reptile that is not around in large numbers. Students learn about 7 Minnesota turtle species with a focus placed on the Blanding’s Turtle. The population limiting factors for turtles are daunting. You will live a year in the life of a turtle. Dodging predators, cars, and water pollution are just some of your worries. Don’t forget those dastardly nest predators! This is an ideal spring evening program.
CAMPFIRE PROGRAM We will join you and all of your students at a good old campfire circle. This is an hour of storytelling, jokes, skits, songs, and many smiles. We usually conduct the campfire on your last night. It is a nice closing to a busy day.
DRAGONFLY POND You are given an undeveloped track of land with a beautiful pond. How will you develop it? Where are you going to live? Where is the corn field going to go? Students work on land planning issues and discover the close tie that the environment can have with economics.
DRESS A BEAVER Teaches students about the basic beaver morphology, behavior, habitat and life cycles. Together they will “dress” their classmates as a beaver to increase their knowledge of the adaptations beavers have that allow them to live in their habitat.
ECO DRAMA This is a great class for older students to put together some of the concepts that they have learned at Deep Portage. We have a grand array of costumes and students pick and choose their props. Each group develops a 5 to 10 minute skit involving an environmental theme. The final accomplishment is a performance for the whole school.
ETHIE REASONING You see someone littering. Do you pick it up? Tell them to pick it up? or Do you leave it? This class explores our values and knowledge on environmental topics. It is similar to the game scruples, but there is a definite environmental twist.
HOOKS & LADDERS This class is a life cycle simulation. Students go through the hatching, growth, migration, and obstacles that occur during the life of a salmon.
INTERPRETIVE CENTER This class gives students a chance to explore our Interpretive Center. Various activities such as scavenger hunts, word puzzles or quizzes throughout the I.C. bring students to different animal mounts to help them learn about Minnesota wildlife and ecology. This class may also include a visit to our Deep Portage bookstore.
MERMAIDS AND MANATEES is a Project Wild Aquatics class that brings myth and reality together. Students discuss myths and how they emerge over time and then they create a few of their own. This language arts lesson involves students looking at a picture of an aquatic creature and writing descriptive statements. These descriptive statements are passed on to another group that has to try to draw the mystery creature.
MIGRATION MARATHON This lesson allows students to learn about the perils that migrating birds face in the course of a year. This active simulation involves wind storms, cloudy weather, and many other challenges that migratory birds face.
NIGHT HIKE This class is recommended for small groups. Students experience the natural world at night and test their senses. How do our eyes adjust? What can we hear? Stories and moon watching are just a few of the fun activities you will encounter on this hike.
NIGHT STALKER is perhaps the single most popular course offered at Deep Portage. This predator/prey simulation teaches students about population dynamics and the ecology of northern owls and their prey. What makes owls unique from other raptors? How do owls hunt for their prey? Students will have the opportunity to become an owl and hunt for prey.
WHAT DID YOUR LUNCH COST WILDLIFE is a Project Wild class. Students pick their favorite foods and trace the path that the food takes before it winds up on the table. Where is the cheese on the pizza made? How do we impact non-renewable resources with our food and packaging choices? This is an eye opening class that can help us discover ways to help preserve our environment.
WOLF HOWLING It is hard to think of a more charismatic mammal than the timber wolf. Everyone is fascinated with these majestic predators. This class explores pack structure, behavior, and communication. Students participate in a pack simulation where they must rejoin with their leader (alpha) by howling. Wolf Howling is enjoyable for young and old alike.