To prepare your students for their field experience at CBEC, please review the materials on this page.  We hope you find the pre- and post-trip activities useful!  If you have any materials you have developed and used to complement your past field trips to CBEC and are willing to share them with fellow educators, please send to Anna at ayoungk@bayrestoration.org.  Thanks!

Catch a Bay Critter

Description:

After hiking down a scenic nature trail, participants will use seining and dip nets, while wading in the bay and tidal pools. They will catch and identify many different species of animal life to determine the health of the Chesapeake Bay and learn the importance of this spectacular estuary and the surrounding wetland ecosystem!

Special Notes for Participants in this Program:

  • Students will get wet in this program! Depending on tide, students may be walking through water up to their thighs, but typically up to their knees. Students MUST bring a change of clothes and shoes that can go into the water, or else they will not be able to participate in this program.  Good shoes for wading in the marsh include old sneakers, sandals with snug straps including an ankle strap, water shoes, or rain boots. Crocs are not typically recommended as they can slide off, unless they are super tight-fitting.
  • All students, chaperones, and teachers will be expected to participate, unless discussed prior to trip. Catch a Bay Critter is a well organized activity, but we depend on teachers and chaperones to provide additional supervision in the water.

Pre/Post-trip Activities:

CBEC Lesson Plan:

This is a sample outline of our lesson plan. It will be modified to suit the age and needs of your group.

Remarkable Oysters

Description: 

Discover the amazing filtering ability of this important mollusk and its effects on Chesapeake Bay water quality. Participants will learn about the life cycle of an oyster and the process of restoring the oyster population that many restoration organizations are currently engaged in. Participants will also explore the importance of oyster reefs so vital to the Bay’s biodiversity by learning different reef structures and configurations and the success of these artificial habitats. Finally, participants will examine live reef shell looking for a myriad of inhabiting organisms that live within the Benthic Community.

Special Notes for Participants in this Program:

  • Benthic organisms and oyster shells are observed on land in kiddie pools.  Only hands will get wet and dirty.  Sinks available for washing hands after program.
  • Please alert us if you have any students with shellfish allergies.  Depending on the severity, student may need to avoid contact with shells.

Pre/Post-trip Materials:

CBEC Lesson Plan:
This is a sample outline of our lesson plan. It will be modified to suit the age and needs of your group.

Build-a-Buoy

Description:

Participants learn about bay health and research through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities. This program incorporates learning the importance of team building, communication and problem solving skills while utilizing and understanding the importance of technology in bay restoration efforts. Teams of students design and construct a model buoy using PVC pipes, calculate expenses, and compete against other teams to create the most effective buoy.

Special Notes for Participants in this Program:

This program is based at the Pavilion.  Participants will not get wet, except for their hands while testing buoy designs.

Pre/Post-trip Materials:

Build a Buoy Pre-Trip Classroom Discussion

Engineering Design Process

Build a Buoy PowerPoint in PDF form (PPT available upon request)

CBEC Lesson Plan:

This is a sample outline of our lesson plan. It will be modified to suit the age and needs of your group. Build a Buoy Lesson Plan

Birds of Prey

Description:

During this program, participants will meet several different species of raptors, and discover the special adaptations of these birds of prey. Through up-close observations and discussions, the participants will learn about the unique visual and auditory adaptations, as well as other features that put these hunters at the pinnacle of the food chain. Special attention will be given to the importance of raptors to an ecosystem, especially the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. As an optional addition to this program, participants will conduct a pellet dissection and use identification materials to determine the diet of an owl.

Special Notes for Participants in this Program:

Two of CBEC’s Birds of Prey will be brought out for close observation.  Only CBEC trained handlers are allowed to touch and handle the birds.  If your program is on our property, we will also visit the bird aviary and see additional birds of prey, including Barred Owls, Red-tailed Hawks, Screech owls, and Great Horned Owls.

Pre/Post-trip Materials:

Webquest designed for upper Elementary and Middle School students

True/False Quiz – see what students know about Birds of Prey and which common misconceptions they believe.  Incorporate movement by having students stand up for False statements and stay seated for true statements or move from the middle of the room to one side or the other.

Create an owl book before or after your trip.  Designed for K-2nd grade students.  From Time, for Kids.

If your group does not dissect owl pellets at CBEC, this is a great extension activity for the classroom after your field trip.  We have done pellet dissections with students as young as Kindergartners through adults.

  • We purchase our pellets from Owl Brand Discovery Kits for about $1.25-1.75/each.  http://obdk.com/.  Consider having plastic snack or sandwich sized bags for students who want to take home bones.
  • Identification sheet – Owl Pellet Bone ID Chart
  • Owl pellet worksheet designed for K-2nd grade students

Math extension – Graph an owl

CBEC Lesson Plan:

This is a sample outline of our lesson plan. It will be modified to suit the age and needs of your group.  Birds of Prey Lesson Plan

BioBlitz

Description:

CBEC offers students a glimpse into the past of the Coastal Plains geographical region, with pristine examples of several ecosystems that once dominated the landscape – from salt marsh and tidal pools, to meadows and forest.  Students will participate as citizen scientists in an ongoing BioBlitz project on CBEC’s property by using tools of a scientist to identify flora and fauna in three distinct ecosystems, as well as explore the relationship and interdependence between living and non-living factors.  Through witnessing biodiversity firsthand and discussing its importance to the health of an ecosystem, students will be equipped to formulate plans to improve biodiversity in their schoolyard and around their own home.  BioBlitz data collected by students will be used by CBEC’s Restoration Coordinator to inform future restoration projects and evaluate effectiveness of ongoing site projects.

Pre/Post-Trip Activities: MORE TO COME!

BioBlitz Intro Pre-Trip PowerPoint and Biodiversity by the Numbers student worksheet can be found here: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/activity/introducing-biodiversity-and-bioblitz/

BioBlitz PowerPoint for Training CBEC Volunteers and Staff ONLY:

CBEC Lesson Plan:

This is a sample outline of our lesson plan. It will be modified to suit the age and needs of your group:

Dead Log Scavenger Hunt

Description:

Discover the importance of invertebrates in our pine forest ecosystem by participating in a scavenger hunt. Students will observe the role played by invertebrates in breaking down rotten logs and returning nutrients to the soil.

Special Notes for Participants in this Program:

  • We will be in the woods, so be sure to do a Tick Check after this program.  Close-toed shoes, long pants and tall socks are recommended, but not required.

Pre/Post-Trip Activities: TO BE ADDED

CBEC Lesson Plan:

This is a sample outline of our lesson plan. It will be modified to suit the age and needs of your group.

Human Impacts on Ecosystem - Geocaching Course

New geocaching course designed to explore human impacts on the ecosystem that can be witnessed around CBEC’s property.

Stations explore:

  1. Leave No Trace
    1. Pamphlet on LNT principles LNT Principles Pamphlet
  2. Water Clarity
  3. Impervious Surfaces
    1. Infographic on Surface Runoff and Urban Development in the Chesapeake Bay watershed
  4. Marine Debris
    1. Infographic on International Coastal Cleanup 2016 data
  5. Rehabilitated Birds of Prey
    1. Article – Bird deaths from car crashes number in millions

Student Worksheet: Geocaching Course – Human Impacts

Coordinates: Coordinates – Human Impacts Course *you must schedule your trip, self-guided or guided, for materials  to be set out at each waypoint*

Hooray for Horseshoe Crabs

Description:

Students will gain a basic understanding of the Horseshoe Crab- Lymulus Polyphemus – and its importance as a resource to three distinct groups: HSC provide an important food source for migrating shorebirds, Fisherman harvest HSC to be used as bait and HSC are important for medical research and human health- BIRDS, BAIT & BLOOD.

Special Notes for Participants in this Program:

  • This program most likely will not involve live animals, but uses a neat model of a horseshoe crab and images.

Pre/Post-Trip Activities: TO BE ADDED

CBEC Lesson Plan:

This is a sample outline of our lesson plan. It will be modified to suit the age and needs of your group.

Supplemental Materials:

More to Come!

This page is being worked on!