Department of Environmental Conservation

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Reinstein Woods School Programs

Education Lessons

DEC and Friends of Reinstein Woods, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support Reinstein Woods and its programs, collaborate to offer guided outdoor lessons at Reinstein Woods, as well as in-school programs for students of all ages.

At Reinstein Woods, DEC, Friends of Reinstein Woods staff and/or trained volunteers will lead your students on an outdoor exploration of nature. These standards-based lessons are taught outdoors, last about 1 ½ hours, and are offered year-round.

Education staff can also bring nature to your classroom through interactive educational programs.

A list of lesson topics is provided below. For details about how to book a program, visit Friends of Reinstein Woods (leaving DEC's website) or call 716-683-5959 for more information.

Outdoor Lesson Topics

Exploring the Outdoors
Grades PreK - 1
A close-up look at nature, emphasizing the development of exploration skills and wonder at the mysteries in the outdoors.

Animal Signs
Grades 2 - 8
An introduction to some New York State wildlife and their habitats.

Alien Invaders
Grades 3-12
After searching for "alien" (non-native) plants and animals, students will understand the impact of these invasive species on the environment. In-school program and service projects are also available.

World of the Pond
Grades 3 - 8
Students will explore the rich and diverse ecosystem of the pond.

Forest and Pond Ecosystems
Grades 9 - 12
This lesson focuses on habitat and wildlife management issues affecting the ecosystems in the woods today.

Winter Challenges
Grades 2 - 12
Students will discover how wildlife survive the cold challenges of the winter season by taking a guided walk on snowshoes to search for animal homes, tracks, and other signs.

Climate Change Connections
Grades 6 - 12
Students will learn about global climate change by exploring Reinstein Woods' own "green" building.

In-school Programs

Animal Tracks

Grades PreK - 3
Students will learn about animal tracks (PDF, 1.7 MB) and traces through interactive activities, then compose their own track "story" or make their own tracks.

Fantastic Frogs
Grades PreK - 3
Through hands-on and whole-body activities, students take an in-depth look at the adaptations of New York's frogs. An ideal program to supplement raising frogs in the classroom.

Nature's Recyclers
Grades PreK - 8
Students will learn how red wiggler worms take food scraps and make compost to use in vegetable and flower gardens.

Trash Talk
Grades K - 8
Students will learn about the three "R's", explore the impact of garbage on the environment, and find out ways to reduce, reuse and recycle at home and school.

Watershed Works
Grades PreK - 8
Students will learn what a watershed is, how water can become polluted and ways to help protect our water resources, using hands-on activities or a 3-D watershed model.

CSI: Critter Sign Investigation
Grades 4 - 8
Students will examine evidence left by insects, birds and mammals and interpret these "clues" to learn about the lifestyles of local wildlife.

Skull Science
Grades 4 - 8
Using skulls from New York State wildlife, students will explore how the physical features of different species help them to survive in their environment.