Outdoor Education at Wind Wolves Preserve
With its inspirational vistas and a landscape rich with wildlife, Wind Wolves Preserve has the power to awaken a child's sense of adventure and discovery. All programs are free of charge.
Over 127,000 children have participated in Outdoor Discovery Programs at Wind Wolves Preserve since 1998. Using hands-on experiential education as our teaching methodology, the instructors at Wind Wolves offer an unparalleled learning experience in environmental education.
Educators have a choice of programs focusing on Native American lifeways and ecology. We offer ecology program for each grade level from kindergarten to twelfth grade. These programs build upon each other and complement the California State Board of Education's Science Framework and History-Social Science Framework. We customize programs for junior high, high school and college classes. Educators looking for an extended learning experience can consider our summer, weekend, and overnight camp programs, as well as service learning projects. Past projects have included invasive plant removal and native plant re-vegetation. We welcome university research projects and fieldwork.
All programs include pre-visit materials, including a teacher letter with map and directions, general program information, a teacher checklist of things to remember prior to the program, guidelines for parents, guidelines for chaperones and an evaluation for teachers to fill out after their program. These materials will be sent to you by email. You may request Spanish language versions of the parent and chaperone information.
Programs generally run for 3 hours, beginning at approximately 10 am and concluding at approximately 1 pm. The programs include an introduction, walk/activities, and an half-hour picnic lunch period.
Elementary and Middle School Programs
Your Big Backyard
Preschool and Kindergarten - 1-2-hour program
This program is an introduction to natural history and wildlife, designed to give young children a positive first-time experience in nature. Students will learn the basic needs of all living things while expanding their knowledge of local wildlife. Exploration with magnifying lenses will enhance awareness of their surroundings. Activities with wildlife puppets will teach food chain relationships and a diversity of native animal behavior.
The Mysterious Unknown
First Grade - 2-hour program
Through hands-on exploration, students will understand that animals need air, water, food and shelter to survive, and that plants need air, water, nutrients, and sunlight. Activities include a Survival Scavenger Hunt and construction of a mini habitat. Students will use magnifying lenses to observe insects and their behavior.
Insect Mania (Available April through September)
First through Fourth Grades - 2-hour program
Students will investigate the diversity and life cycles of insects, spiders, centipedes and millipedes. In addition, they will discover how insects provide us with food, clothes and medicine, recycle important organic materials, and aid in scientific research. A Build a Bug activity will identify a variety of insect body parts and their functions. The use of Discovery Scopes and field guides will help students classify the aquatic and terrestrial species they find along the trail and stream.
The Secrets of MAWOM
Second Grade - 2-hour program
During this program, students will unearth the importance of soil to all living things. Hands-on experiments will reveal the living and non-living components of soil and how they contribute to soil formation. While on a guided nature hike, Naturalists will lead students in their discovery of natural weathering, erosion and decomposers at work. A section on soil conservation will end the day.
Native American Lifeways
Secord through Fifth Grades - 2-hour program
This program explores of how the Chumash and Yokuts Indians lived over 200 years ago. Students will play traditional musical instruments, games of chance and games of skill. They will learn about natural pigments while they participate in face painting. During the Plant Station, students will discover the customary uses of plants, and then grind acorns with a stone mortar and pestle. Hands-on materials will acquaint students with watercraft, tools, clothing and trade items.
Fourth through Seventh Grades - 2-hour program
Students will identify the three primary layers of the Earth and what powers the rock cycle. Through hands-on activities, they will study plate tectonics, volcanism and the Earth's magnetic field. Emphasis will be placed on how these forces affect humans, animals and the land. During a hike, students will locate and identify a variety rocks and minerals.
Wild Neighborhood Celebration
Third Grade - 3-hour program
During this program, students will come to understand that living and non-living things are connected through the cycling of nutrients and energy. While analyzing animal skulls, they will learn the characteristics of predators and prey, as well as carnivores, omnivores and herbivores. Other experiential learning will take place while playing the food web game and meeting live native animals. Producers and their importance will be discovered during a short hike.
Fourth Grade - 3-hour program
This program is an investigative journey through a Wetland habitat and the magical process of the water cycle. Students will learn about the properties of water while participating in H2O Charades and get a little wet while exploring the stream to find and identify aquatic insects and amphibians. Hands-on experiments will demonstrate erosion, evaporation and transpiration. In addition, we will discuss habitat loss and its affects on species like the endangered Willow Flycatcher
Natures Systems and Cycles
Fifth grade - 3-hour program
Students will discover how air, water, and soil are cycled through ecosystems. Activities include assembling a carbon cycle puzzle, playing a food pyramid game that highlights bio-magnification and participating in a water cycle board game. Other lessons focus on the process of photosynthesis and the air cycle. During a Discovery Hike, students will find clue cards and gather information to reveal the identity of a mystery animal waiting for them at the end of trail.
Gifts of the Sun
Sixth Grade - 3-hour program
The sun powers our planet and its cycles. During this program, students will learn about our solar system, the structure of the sun, and its affects on the Earth. Hand-on activities will illuminate photosynthesis and the various forms of light using radiometers, spectroscopes and simple molecular models. At the Solar Station, various types of solar powered devices will be on display. Cookies baked in a solar oven will be served at the end of the program.
Willows and Elk
Seventh Grade - 3-hour program
Students will learn about the process of adaptation and how biodiversity ensures health on an ecosystem and global level. The concepts of beneficial and detrimental traits, mutation and natural selection will be discussed. With provided guidelines, students will create an imaginary critter using found natural objects. During an analysis of animal skulls, students will learn the characteristics of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores. They will also observe a variety of survival strategies of plants and animals while on a guided nature hike,
7th-12th Grade Programs
For More Information
For more information about TWC's Outdoor Education Programs at the Oak Glen Preserve, please contact:
Outdoor Education Coordinator