Petaluma Wetland Activities for Schoolchildren
Shollenberger Park, Petaluma, is the center of 500 acres of publicly owned wetlands. It is the site of a variety of habitats and is an excellent learning laboratory for third grade science and outdoor education. Petaluma docents have developed a program for third graders that focuses on third-grade science standards. Shollenberger is the venue for learning about habitats and adaptations and for developing an inquiring approach to learning about natural settings. Docents lead children through hands-on learning experiences in class followed by a guided exploration of the park. Trained docents have a common interest in sharing their love of nature and our local wetlands. During the last school year, we provided services to about 750 schoolchildren in 30 classrooms in the Petaluma River watershed.
There is no charge for any of the listed activities to participate. Schools in the Petaluma River Watershed have preference. For information and reservations, contact Boyce Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org . For school activities other than the third grade program, contact PWA’s education chair at email@example.com .
ACTIVITIES FOR 3RD GRADE STUDENTS
CLASSROOM (90 minutes, which includes 30 minutes for slides and 60 minutes for activities):
Slide Presentation – photos of the wetlands with its flora and fauna, focusing on habitats and adaptations
Wetlands Model – wetlands’ ecosystems and their importance
Beaks and Feet – understanding how beaks and feet help different kinds of bird inhabit different places
Bird Feathers – learning about different kinds of feathers and the surprising features of feathers
Who am I? – question-and-answer game about the wetlands’ animals and their classifications
OUTDOOR EXPLORATION (three hours):
Bird Walk – a 0.3 mile walk to identify birds and their behavior, using binoculars and viewing scopes (provided)
Owl Food Web and the Miwok Indian Lifestyle – a look at what owls eat and its impact on rodents and other animals, also experience how Miwok children lived in the park area
Habitat Walk – a look at habitats in the park, focusing on plant and animal adaptations