Students will be challenged on a vigorous hike of the 79 hectare Sheldon property. Their adventure may include hiking up hills, navigating through mud and bushwacking through forests.
Students will examine bones, skulls, pelts and other taxidermy; participate in simulation activities; identify animal tracks to identify and describe the distinguishing characteristics of different groups of animals while exploring the Sheldon property.
Students will investigate the physical and behavioural characteristics of honey bees through a visit to the Sheldon apiary. Within a small habitat students examine the diversity and interrelationships within and among this species. Students will learn about the interconnections and importance that honey bees have within an ecosystem. They will also look at how honey bees contribute to human society, and some of the important products they help produce.
During their visit, students may have the opportunity to visit the Sheldon stream. Here, they will take on the role of investigators and scientists, bio-blitzing the aquatic ecosystem to create an inventory of the species found within a given area; an important clue to the health of our environment.
Students will hike the Sheldon property, discovering a variety of terrains and ecosystems, including forest, field, and stream. This program may also include a chance to examine bones, skulls, pelts and other taxidermy to look at animal adaptations, participation in simulation activities (for example Project Wild games), or investigating a variety of different species such as Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects and Plants. Our goal is to encourage students to connect with nature through inquiry and discovery based learning. Students will accumulate and record their data, helping us to identify and monitor the biodiversity at Sheldon.
Students will get suited up with harnesses and helmets and learn how to safely cross a series of wire bridges while hiking near the stream. For many, this is a big step out of their comfort zone and collaboration and communication amongst the group members is important.
Students will learn and demonstrate the basic safety skills required to cross country ski (e.g. diagonal stride, double pole, star turn, herringbone, snow plow, falling and standing up) as they ski along the Sheldon trails. A beautiful solar lantern lit night ski is an evening program option as well.
During an adventurous hike of the Sheldon property, including forest, field and stream, students will apply basic photography skills to capture images that will be sent back to school and can be used in a follow up activity.
Students learn the importance of agriculture in Ontario and the varied roles of farmers as they experience farm chores first hand while cleaning, feeding and caring for the farm animals. The usefulness of natural products of the farm such as wool and beeswax can also be explored. Visiting students have the opportunity to learn about sustainable plant based agriculture through a variety of garden based programs and farm to table initiatives. These programs highlight the importance of making sustainable food choices whenever possible within the greater context of climate action.
Students will investigate the biodiversity of flight in nature (flying insects, birds, mammals, plants) and how this adaptation assists in survival and growth. In some cases, groups may also explore ways in which flying technologies make use of properties of air by experimenting with a variety of flying objects including arrows and throwing sticks in order to determine relationships between the four forces.
Students participate in traditional Indigenous recreational activities and contribute to discussions about why these games are/were integral to Indigenous social and cultural lives. Inuit blanket toss may be included as part of this exciting program.
Students experience first hand how the environment affected the daily life practices of First Nation Peoples. Students will use tools to make fire by friction, cook bannock and cedar tea over a fire and experiment with the use of stone tools. Students may also have the opportunity to be exposed to various Indigenous hunting techniques, such as archery and throwing sticks and will use inquiry skills to investigate how these tools were useful to Indigenous life.
Interest Sessions (Fall/Winter/Spring)
A range of activities designed to meet the needs and interests of different students will be offered by staff. Students will select one activity of their choice in which to participate during their final morning.
Students will participate in a series of fun, co-operative activities to increase critical thinking skills, learn to work with one another, and apply these skills to accomplish team goals. Students will use equipment such as pool noodles, bull ring, along with a variety of our low elements to complete a series of group challenges designed to foster communication, collaboration, and creative problem solving. Prior to using our low elements, students will learn appropriate safety protocols, such as effective spotting technique.
Explore the trails around Sheldon by mountain bike! Students will learn and demonstrate the basic safety skills required to mountain bike in an open practice course setting prior to riding the trails at Sheldon. Students will be given safety glasses and helmets to wear, and have a choice of difficulty level.
While actively exploring the hills, forests and meadows, students will investigate the elements of design (colour, line, form, shape, space and texture) found in nature and demonstrate an understanding of these elements by creating a 3-dimensional piece of artwork.
Students learn map reading skills and demonstrate their understanding as they use a map to navigate the property to locate various markers. GPS technology will be explored and students will discuss the pros and cons of various navigation technologies.
Students work in family groupings as they complete tasks that simulate the early years in Upper Canada. Students will develop a strong understanding of the contribution to developing the local economy through agriculture and related trades.
Through inquiry, students will learn the advantages or snowshoes as a method for navigating the land in the winter. Students will be able to play some games as well as hike around the property.
Students are actively involved in the operation of a sugar bush including tapping maple trees, collecting and boiling sap and sampling maple products. Students will explore maple syrup production using Indigenous, early settler, and modern technologies. A variety of programs are available from bio-monitoring and data management to student inquiry stations.
Students will learn some basic survival skills such as building a fire, building a shelter and cooking over an open fire through inquiry, problem solving and exploration.
In this simulation game students, working in small groups, will experience how the fur trade served the interests of both of the European explorers and the Indigenous people.
During an adventurous hike of the Sheldon property, students will gain knowledge of basic watercolour techniques including colour wheel and perspective and incorporate these skills in the creation of a scenic painting.
Web of Life (Fall/Winter/Spring) *** Whole Class Activity ***
In this fast-paced simulation game like tag, students actively take on the role of herbivore, omnivore or carnivore. Locating food and water and avoiding natural enemies are required to survive, all while navigating their way through the forest playing area. A discussion will evaluate the interrelationships among living things and the importance of maintaining diversity.