K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Related pages

  • Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area: Originally settled by the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, the Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area has a diversity of natural communities including undisturbed forest and a wide variety of wildlife species.
  • Camp Don Lee: Check out the programs available to classroom students at this beautiful camp located near Arapahoe, North Carolina.
  • Lake Crabtree County Park: This park includes wetland areas, a floodplain forest, and various creeks. Environmental programs for school groups are available.

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This park is the perfect place to enjoy nature. Here you can see a majestic mountain range peeking out from the gently rolling landscape of the Piedmont. The park includes elevations up to 3,000 feet, a waterfall dropping 80 feet and more than 40 miles of trails. Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about South Mountains State Park. Educational materials have been developed for grades 4-7 and are correlated to North Carolina’s competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. South Mountains’ program introduces students to stream and watershed ecology, focusing on the aquatic life, water quality, indicator species, biotic index, watershed and stewardship of Jacob’s Fork River. Accompanying the program is a teacher’s booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators.

Each state park and recreation area has an EELE (environmental education learning experience) curriculum guide that includes on-site activities, pre- and post-visit activities, student information pages, worksheets, fact sheets, vocabulary, and references. You can receive a free copy of an EELE by attending its corresponding workshop at a park, or you can borrow these guides through interlibrary loan at any public library in North Carolina. The EELE for South Mountains State Park is “Wild, Wonderful Water” for grades 4, 5, 6, and 7.

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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