Shangri La’s naturalist-guided programs are curriculum-based and fully aligned to the science objectives for the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Each program includes hands-on activities, investigations, or experiments, frequently with kinesthetic games. Total immersion is our goal. If the program is about trees, students will be in the forest. If the program includes a water theme, students might get a little wet as they study our swamp, bayou, or our man-made lake. As we aim to connect students to nature and to empower them to make a difference, each program includes elements of natural history, ecology, and sustainability.
Our education staff is comprised of 11 dedicated and fully qualified educators. Most of our educators possess a Masters’ Degree in Education or are certified teachers who have retired after serving many years in the classroom. They receive more than 90 hours of training and professional development each year to hone their skills as outdoor science educators.
These programs are conducted for school groups and homeschool groups during the academic school year. Orange County teachers may register starting at 7a.m., August 26, 2019. Teachers outside of Orange County may register beginning at 7a.m., September 9, 2019. See below for program descriptions and a link to our online registration form.

For the 2019-2020 field trip calendar, a full listing of programs for the school year and additional registration information, please click to see our Schedule of Classes.

Naturalist Guided Program Descriptions:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

Shangri La has an active beehive in our Garden! Please take this into consideration if any of your students have bee allergies. Make sure that these students carry their Epi-pens with them at all times.

Nature’s Senses (Fall/Spring) Grade Level: Pre-K ,K

During this 1½ hour lesson, students will use all five senses to explore our Children’s Garden. Students will plant a seed to take home with them, water the garden, taste some of the wonderful plants growing here, enjoy story time, and take home their very own pet rock! This program does NOT include a boat tour.

Backcountry Explorers (Spring) Grade Levels: K, 1, 2

This 2 hour lesson, students will explore the different habitats found at Shangri La Gardens. They will discover the three components of a habitat: food, water and shelter. As we explore the swamp, forest, and meadows, students will investigate the plants and animals that call each habitat home. This lesson DOES include a boat tour.

Dirt Detectives (Fall) Grade Levels: 1, 2

Beetles and bugs, weevils and slugs! During this 2 hour lesson, students will investigate who lives underground and the characteristics of soils. We will search out the crawly critters that live in rotten logs, within fallen leaf litter, and even the wiggly worms that live in our compost bin. Students will learn how these critters create soil. Get ready to get your hands messy! This lesson does NOT include a boat tour.

Picture Perfect Weather (Spring) Grade Levels: 1, 2, 3, 4

This is a combo field trip with the Stark Museum of Art
Experience the best of the Stark Museum of Art and Shangri La Gardens during this 4½ hours program! At Shangri La Gardens, students will embark on an adventure to learn to use various instruments to measure and record the weather. We’ll discuss temperature, wind conditions, precipitation, clouds, and more! This program DOES include a boat tour. At the Stark Museum of Art, students will become weather chasers as they adventure through the galleries and discover the beauty of weather in art– cloudy skies, snowy storms, and scorching suns. During the studio art experience, students will create an original work of art inspired by their weather chasing journey. Students will spend approximately 2 hours at Shangri La Gardens and 2 hours at the Stark Museum Art. Students should bring a sack lunch; there will be a ½ hour lunch break at Shangri La Gardens. The bus driver should be prepared to shuttle students between Shangri La and the Stark Museum of Art during this lesson.

Winter Survival (Winter) Grade Levels: 1, 2, 3, 4

This 2 hour lesson will get students outside to observe changes that happen during winter. Various games and investigations will help students understand where animals go and how they survive the cold weather. This lesson includes a 1 –2 mile slow, easy hike but does NOT include a boat tour. Please make sure students are dressed for the cold!.

Armor and Adaptations (Fall/Spring) Grade Levels: 2, 3, 4

Crawfish, Alligators, and Armadillos-oh my! During this 2-hour hands-on lesson, we will take a tour of the animal kingdom and explore the many unique armored adaptations of our animal friends. We will study shells, examine exoskeletons, and meet a few live critters. Students will use what they learn to design, build, and test their very own armored creations! This lesson does NOT include a boat tour.

A Raptor’s Lunch (Spring) Grade Levels: 3, 4, 5

During this2 hour lesson, students will learn all about raptors and what makes them unique. Students will examine the features that allow these birds of prey to be successful hunters. During this hands on lesson students will dissect owl pellets, learn about unique raptor adaptations, and identify food webs. This lesson DOES include a boat tour.

Engineering Masters (Fall) Grade Levels: 5, 6

During this S.T.E.M. based 3-hour lesson, students will observe nature, discover, design, engineer, and finally, build new creations based on their observations. We will use simple sketches and diagrams to plan our inventions, and then use basic materials and tools to build them. Students will test their designs to see who built it best! This lesson DOES include boat tour.

Art for Conservation (Fall) Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8

This is a combo field trip with the Stark Museum of Art
Discover what you can do to be a wildlife conservationist during this 4 1/2 hour program! At Shangri La Gardens, students will explore the swamp, wetland habitats that waterfowl call home. We will discuss migration and the importance of habitat conservation. This lesson DOES include a boat tour. At the Stark Museum of Art, students will go on a duck chase with a visit to our special exhibition Conservation Art: Federal Duck Stamps and Prints and learn how artists have helped protect animals and habitats for over one hundred years. After visiting the galleries, students will visit the studio to create their own conservation collage. Students will spend approximately 2 hours at Shangri La Gardens and 2 hours at the Stark Museum Art. Students should bring a sack lunch; there will be a 1/2 hour lunch break at Shangri La Gardens. The bus driver should be prepared to shuttle students between Shangri La Gardens and the Stark Museum of Art during this lesson.

Earthworm Dissection (Winter) Grade Levels: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

This 2 hour lesson we will introduce students to the wonders of dissection. Students will learn external and internal anatomy, with a focus on what makes worms unique. Among other things, the students will investigate simple organ systems and learn proper dissection procedures. This is an indoor lesson and does not include a boat tour.

Earthworm Dissection (Winter) Grade Levels: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

In this 2-hour lesson we will introduce students to the wonders of dissection. Students will learn external and internal anatomy, with a focus on what makes worms unique. Among other things, the students will investigate simple organ systems and learn proper dissection procedures. This is an indoor lesson and does NOT include a boat tour.

Botany and Blooms (Spring) Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8

In this 3-hour lesson, students will explore the link between plant structures and their functions as they dissect various plants. We will examine different types of roots, flowers, and seeds as we search for different plant adaptations. An introduction to dichotomous keys will prepare students for high school biology. If the weather cooperates, this lesson may include a boat tour.

Grasshopper Dissection (Winter) Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

In this 2-hour lesson, students will practice safe lab procedures as we introduce them to the wonders of dissection. Students will focus on the unique external anatomy of grasshoppers and will glimpse the internal anatomy of an herbivore. Students will remove the legs, wings, antennae, and all mouth parts. They will tape these to a card that they get to keep. This is an indoor lesson and does NOT include a boat tour.

Wilderness Adventures (Spring) Grades 6, 7, 8

During this 3-hour lesson, students will explore the forest trails, tromp along the swamp, float down the bayou, and immerse themselves in the wilderness! Students will learn how to use a compass, use cane poles for fishing, build a survival shelter, and develop map-making skills. Students will learn several skills to help them prepare for their wilderness adventures. This lesson DOES include a boat ride.

Biology on the Bayou (Fall/Spring) Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

During this 2-hour excursion, students will follow Adams Bayou from the past and into the present. We will explore the role that waterways played in the early business boom in Orange, Texas and how the prominent community leaders changed these waterways through dredging to support their businesses. Students will assess the current water quality of Adams Bayou and discover how human actions continue to impact this important waterway. This lesson DOES include a boat ride.

Greenie Beanie Babies (All Seasons) Grade Levels: All Special Education Grades

During this 1-hour lesson, we will engage the student’s five senses as they explore the parts of green bean plants. They will identify basic plant structures, what plants need to grow, uses of plants, and why they are important. Using simple scientific tools like hand lenses, students will investigate these plants up-close. Each student will plant their own seed to study growth in the classroom or even take home. *Teachers, this lesson can be facilitated onsite at Shangri La Gardens, or in your classroom as an outreach program. Whatever is easiest for you and your students!*
   
Please contact Jamie Massa at (409) 670-0803 or jmassa@shangrilagardens.org to schedule this class.
       

Orange County Teachers Registration:
 
Register starting at 7 a.m., August 26, 2019
 
 
Teachers Outside of Orange County Registration:
 
Register beginning at 7 a.m., September 9, 2019

   

To register, click here.