Blandford Nature Center works closely with the Grand Rapids Public Schools to develop a curriculum that meets grade-level science and social studies requirements.
In addition to assisting in immersive programs at Blandford School and C.A. Frost Elementary, we serve as the environmental classroom for third, sixth and ninth graders throughout the district thanks to the financial support of the Student Advancement Foundation.
Third Grade: People of the Three Fires
This program focuses on the pre-contact ways of living of Michigan’s Anishinabek, or People of the Three Fires, most specifically the Ottawa of West Michigan. Students study Anishinabe skills like fishing and rope-making, learn the secrets of making maple sugar and listen to stories inside an authentic wigwam. Games such as bowl dice and snowsnakes, hands-on activities like planting corn, using a scapula hoe, and touching real deer, fox and beaver pelts usually send students home with big smiles on their faces.
Sixth Grade: Emerging Spring and Ecosystems
Sixth graders who come to Blandford in the spring are in for a special
treat. In the morning, students participate in a thrilling game that challenges even the wiliest of predators. In the afternoon, students
explore the natural world around Blandford. From the meadow, vernal
ponds and mixed forests to the creek and cattail marshes, they
discover the plethora of wild things living there and their unique
roles in each ecosystem – including humans themselves.
Ninth Grade: Biology and Sustainability
Ninth graders spend a day at Blandford studying humanity’s impact on
the earth and how we can make our lifestyles simpler, healthier, and
more sensitive to the natural world. Students visit the nineteenth-century log cabin and explore the intricacies of pioneer life. They brainstorm in small groups on issues such as clean water, finding viable forms of renewable energy, the systematic elimination of wildlife habitats, and responsible land-use management.
For GRPS teachersWould you like your students to benefit from environmental learning experiences at Blandford? Contact us for more information.