LEARN NC

K–12 teaching and learning · from the UNC School of Education

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  • Masonboro Island: One of the four sites of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve. Interpreter led field trips must be reserved two seasons ahead. This is a favorite field trip for many teachers.
  • Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve: Called the "pine barrens" by the settlers to the Sandhills, the Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve protects a remnant of the plant and animal communities of long ago.
  • Fort Fisher State Recreation Area: The Fort Fisher program introduces students to the habitat and life history of "colonial-nesting coastal birds." The program also focuses on endangered, threatened and special-concern bird species.

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Only accessible by boat, Hammocks Beach State Park is located on Bear Island, an 892-acre barrier island. The island is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and by salt marshes, estuarine creeks and the Intracoastal Waterway to the north.

Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Hammocks Beach State Park. To arrange a special exploration of Hammocks Beach State Park for your group or class, contact the park office at (910) 326-4881. Educational materials about Hammocks Beach State Park have been developed for grades 6-8 and are correlated to North Carolina’s competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Hammocks Beach program introduces students to the life history of sea turtles, focusing on the loggerhead sea turtle. The program’s content includes information about animal adaptation, the sea turtle’s lifecycle, endangered species, natural and human threats to wildlife, resource management and stewardship. Accompanying the program is a teacher’s booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators.

Each state park and recreation area has an EELE curriculum guide that includes on-site activities, pre- and post-visit activities, student information pages, worksheets, fact sheets, vocabulary, and references.

The North Carolina State Parks website offers a search feature for finding the plants and animals that can be found at each state park. Using the drop-down menus, you can choose a park and either an amphibian, bird, reptile, mammal, fungus, insect, or vascular plant. You can search within each group by family, scientific name, or common name. There are photographs from the state parks and fun facts for some of the species.

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