Scout Facilitated Education Activities

Hikes

All guided hikes take place outside and can be scheduled for 30 minutes. Age recommendations are based on Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Activities are adapted to the learning level of the audience.

All Ages

  • A Walk in the Woods: Enjoy a leisurely walk through the trails of Coppell Nature Park. Nature is always changing and presenting new opportunities for discovery. Trained guides will point out features and answer student inquiries.
  • Art in Nature: Explore the trails of Coppell Nature Park while pausing at various locations to reflect on your experience and draw inspiration from your surroundings. Engage with nature by using your five senses to explore colors, textures, patterns, smells, and sounds. Develop skills in the arts of poetry, drawing, and drama.
  • CNP Habitats: Coppell Nature Park is home to many wild plants and animals. Discover what organisms need to stay alive, while comparing the unique characteristics of forest, prairie, and riparian habitats.
  • Field Journals: Discover a useful tool for engaging with and learning from your experiences in nature. Create your own journal, learn how to make detailed observations, record them accurately, and use them for future reference.
  • Geology: Get your hands dirty while exploring the geologic materials and processes found in Coppell Nature Park. Encounter rocks, soil, fossils, weathering, erosion, deposition, groundwater, runoff, and permeability.
  • Insects & Spiders: Practice catching, observing, and identifying the insects and spiders you encounter in Coppell Nature Park. Observe the ecological roles of insects and spiders in food webs, habitat structures, reproduction, and decomposition.
  • Plants: Get to the root of unique characteristics, adaptations, and ecological roles of organisms in the Plant Kingdom. Develop observation and identification skills as you encounter different types of plants found in Coppell Nature Park.
  • Scavenger Hunts: Use your five senses to discover treasures from nature found in Coppell Nature Park.

Kindergarten and Up

  • Citizen Science: Use the iNaturalist application on your personal mobile device to observe, identify, and record the organisms you encounter in Coppell Nature Park. Contribute data to advance scientific research that informs environmental conservation efforts.

2nd Grade and Up

  • Birds: Encounter a variety of birds that live in Coppell Nature Park as you practice identifying by sight and sound. Discover the unique characteristics of birds and their ecological roles.
  • Geologic History of Coppell Nature Park: Become a paleontologist by applying concepts of geologic time and interpreting fossil evidence to reconstruct local environmental conditions during the Cretaceous period (~100 million years ago). Hunt for real fossils in Coppell Nature Park while practicing ethical collection principles.
  • Nature Detectives: Experiencing a direct encounter with a wild mammal is rare, but evidence of their presence is abundant! Discover sounds, tracks, scat, and homes among the trails of Coppell Nature Park.

3rd Grade and Up

  • BEC is Green: Learn about the environmentally sustainable design features of the Biodiversity Education Center building. Become inspired to apply these principles to your own home, school, or place of business.
  • Cottonwood Creek: Dip into the unique features of a local riparian habitat and its ecological importance. Observe and experience interactions among living and non-living components including watershed, water cycle, fluvial processes, water quality, aquatic and semi-aquatic organisms, and wildlife corridors.


Games

Group members role-play to simulate processes and interactions that take place in nature. Age recommendations are based on Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Activities are adapted to the learning level of the audience.

All Ages

  • Oh Deer! (Outside): Become a deer or a habitat component to simulate how limiting factors in the environment affect population numbers.
  • Recycle Relay (Outside): Utilize reduce, re-use, recycle principles on a team to minimize the generation of landfill waste by collecting litter and disposing of it in appropriate receptacles.

1st Grade and Up

  • Are You Me? (Inside): Compare illustrations of various animal species and their offspring to explore how some young animals resemble their parents at birth while others undergo metamorphosis.
  • Pollination Relay (Outside): Buzz into a bee colony and learn the language of dance! Simulate the interdependence between plants and insects as your colony relays to pollinate flowers.
  • Quick Frozen Critters (Outside): Role-play the interaction between predator and prey animals to simulate ecological concepts such as basic needs, food chains and adaptation.

2nd Grade and Up

  • Birds and Bugs (Outside): Simulate how camouflage affects the survival rate of populations as teams of birds relay to consume the most bugs.
  • Common Water (Outside): Experience how water quality and quantity is affected by collective use over time as you role-play various consumers who share a common source of water.
  • Bearly Surviving (Outside): Discover how limited resources, injury, and the challenges of reproductive success affect the numbers and health of a bear population.
  • Migration Headache (Outside): Examine the challenges faced by birds as they migrate among nesting, stop-over, and wintering habitats.
  • Rock the Cycle (Inside): Identify the types of rocks and geologic processes involved in the rock cycle. Roll the dice to visit stations and record each step of the journey as you transform between igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.
  • Water Odyssey (Inside): Journey through the water cycle, physical states and natural reservoirs of water. Experience the processes that transform water between gas, liquid, or solid in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and biosphere. Roll the dice and collect a bead at each station along your journey.

3rd Grade and Up

  • Hazardous Links (Outside): Become part of a food chain to simulate how pollutants become more concentrated among organisms at higher trophic levels through the process of biomagnification/bioaccumulation.


Interactive Lessons

Explore nature-based concepts through interactive investigations. Age recommendations are based on Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Activities are adapted to the learning level of the audience.

All Ages

  • Animal Architects (Outside): Different types of animals use different materials to build different types of homes for different purposes. Explore the what, where, and why of animal homes. Then use materials from nature to create an animal home of your own!
  • Insects (Inside): Identify the unique characteristics of insects through an interactive presentation with Texas Master Naturalist volunteers. View preserved specimens to explore insect morphology and adaptations. Explore insect life cycle, metamorphosis, and interdependence with the environment.
  • Geology: Rocks (Inside): Uncover the characteristics of rocks and geologic processes that transform them through the rock cycle. Apply these concepts as you practice classifying rock samples as igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary.
  • Plants (Inside): Discover the unique characteristics of organisms in the Plant Kingdom! Develop observation and identification skills by exploring the form and function of plant structures and species. Act out a plant lifecycle. Explore their basic needs, adaptations, and ecological roles.
  • Spiders (Inside/Outside): Detect the characteristics of spiders, their lifecycle, adaptations, and interdependence with the environment. Experience the challenge of weaving a spider web!

1st Grade and Up

  • All About Owls (Inside/Outside): Investigate the unique adaptations of owls and their ecological roles. Dissect an owl pellet to identify its various food sources.
  • Geology: Soil (Outside): Unearth the characteristics of soil components. Use scientific tools to sort soil samples and practice classifying material as gravel, sand, clay/silt, organic material/compost. 

2nd Grade and Up

  • Enviroscape (Outside): Using the EnviroScape 3-D model, explore the concepts of watershed, sources of pollution, water quality, and resource conservation.

3rd Grade and Up

  • Biological Survey (Inside): Simulate a biological survey by capturing, identifying, sorting, and counting aquatic macroinvertebrate populations. Analyze your data to assess water quality and the relative health of each habitat.
  • Build-a-Bird (Inside): • Explore different types of birds with beak, feet, and coloration adaptations that help them survive in different environments. Choose adaptations that will help a bird of your own creation survive in its specific habitat.
  • Mammal Investigations (Inside): Become an animal detective! Discover the unique characteristics of the mammals that live in Coppell Nature Park using indirect evidence such as sounds, tracks, skulls, and pelts.
  • Solar Power (Outside): Learn how energy can transform and the benefits of renewable energy. Explore how energy from the sun can be harnessed for electrical and mechanical use by investigating solar panels on the Biodiversity Education Center roof and building solar cars.