Programs for Schools at Arcadia

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Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary offers programs for students at any level from preschool to adult. Programs are aligned with the Massachusetts Department of Education frameworks, and our Education staff is committed to creating engaging and interactive programs that are age/audience appropriate.

Both student instruction and professional development options are available. Whether you choose to visit the sanctuary or have us come to your school, we will work with you to plan a curriculum that meets your needs.

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Program Types

At the Wildlife SanctuaryAt Your School • Climate ChangeHomeschoolPreschoolCollegeTeacher Workshops

At the Wildlife Sanctuary

Naturalist and student at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary

Through guided explorations of Arcadia's 755 acres of forests, wetlands, and fields, your students will make inquiries, investigate, classify, think critically, and draw conclusions. Programs include activities such as gathering data and making meaningful observations. Programs will focus on seasonal natural topics and are tailored according to age level and your requested curriculum.

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At Your School

Classroom program, © Mary A. O'Connor

Arcadia staff will visit your class to provide students with a broader understanding of the natural world. Programs may include interactive discussions, narrated photo presentations, natural history props, and interactive activities. We can also explore the schoolyard/school property in order to discover and connect students to their local environment. Many of our school program curriculums can be taught as either a classroom presentation or as an outdoor exploration. We emphasize inquiry-based skills.

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Climate Change

Teacher naturalist at a school with students

Our climate is changing and so have the Massachusetts science standards. Through our Life in a Changing Climate school program, Arcadia can teachers and their students prepare for both of these changes with hands-on, minds-on, and grade-level appropriate lessons on climate change.

Each lesson can be made high-tech (laptops and projectors) or low-tech (printouts and post-its) depending on your classroom needs. We offer stand-alone, in-class, and field trip opportunities for all grade levels.

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Girl ponding, © Robert Floyd

We offer a variety of homeschool programs for students ages 5-11, each of which features a different and engaging nature-based, science-related theme. Our Homeschool Exploration programs are designed for ages 9-11 and offered as 2-hour, individual drop-off programs. We also offer a 5-session homeschool program that takes place once a week on Wednesdays (ages 5-10) and Thursdays (ages 7-11).

Programs take place entirely outdoors, with the exception of bathroom breaks and in case of sudden bad weather. Participants will also receive optional journal assignments each week to help further their learning and share with their families.

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Two preschool children at Mass Audubon Aracdia Wildlife Sanctuary

Arcadia Nature Preschool is an EEC-licensed program for children ages 3-5 that. Families can choose from two-, three-, and five-day options that run from 9 am-12 pm throughout the school year. We believe that a happy and rewarding early childhood experience with nature forms the foundation for the development of creative, caring, and aware adults. Our goal is to foster your child's ability to work both independently and cooperatively, and to act in a caring and responsible way towards their environment, themselves, and others.

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Student ponding © Robert Floyd

Arcadia is an ideal outdoor laboratory for students to study ecology, botany, wildlife management, and more. Professors may arrange to bring their classes on field trips, or our naturalists and ecologists may lead groups into our unique habitats such as grasslands or floodplain forest. Many students elect to do environment-related research projects on our property.

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Teacher Workshops

Teacher with student © Mary Anne OConnor

Arcadia provides professional development opportunities for teachers in natural history, climate change education, and related sciences. We are a DOE-approved PDP provider. All workshops are designed for active participation and practical application in the classroom. Teachers can attend workshops offered on a variety of topics as certification courses for Project Wild, Project WET, and Project Learning Tree

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→ Mass Audubon offers additional scheduled and custom professional development for educators throughout the year.