Pollinators - This lesson will teach students about plant adaptations and how important these adaptations are in the process of pollination. Students will observe a few of nature’s best pollinators and learn how important their role is in the web of life.
Adaptations! The lesson focuses on adaptations found in nature! Students will learn about Arizona's ecology and how plants and animals have adapted to survive in the desert.
Desert Plants Nature Walk - Students will learn about the unique adaptations native plants have which allow them to thrive in the harsh desert climate. Students will identify 6 native species, learn about their specific adaptation and record data in their field guides.
Desert Survival – Students will learn basic survival skills such as; constructing a shelter, basic first aid and mirror signaling. This lesson incorporates team building activities and critical thinking.
Traits of Mammals and Skulls - What makes a mammal a “mammal”? This lesson provides students with the tools necessary to identify mammals by understanding their traits. This lessons uses mammal skulls and hides. By exploring animal adaptations, students will recognize how to identify wildlife from their bones.
Reptiles and Amphibians – Students will learn about Arizona’s native reptile and amphibian community and meet an “exotic invader”. This lesson focuses on the adaptations our local reptiles and amphibians have to survive in the Arizona desert! Animals used for this lesson are from the Arizona Game and Fish Department Wildlife Rehabilitation Program. Animals will vary – but will include several reptiles and others as available.
Nature Walk – This is our signature event. Walk with a naturalist and explore the signs of life in the Mesquite Habitat. This is an opportunity for students to learn how to look for wildlife, even when they are hiding. Tracks, scat and owl pellets are just a few of the fun finds on this walk. This lesson can be modified for all grade levels.
Animal Tracking - Students recognize the diversity of animal life within an ecosystem and learn to identify animals by their tracks!
Pond Exploration - Use basic tools to test the pond water and compare it to other liquids. This is a hands-on lesson and allows students to use scientific field instruments. This lesson can be modified to fit your student’s level of knowledge. (This lesson is recommended for 3rd Grade and above.)
Aquatic Insects - This lesson will have students looking for and identifying aquatic insects and animals that live in Mesquite Ponds. Students will learn about the water quality based on the type of insects collected. This lesson is most effective in the warmer months.
The Incredible Journey (Water Cycle) – With the roll of the die, students simulate the movement of water within the water cycle. Role playing a water molecule helps students to conceptualize the water cycle as more than a predictable two-dimensional path. During this lesson, students will make a water cycle bracelet to portray their journey. This is a Project WET activity.
Watersheds - Students will gain a concept of drainage patterns in a watershed. This hands-on lesson provides a visual display of how pollution and sediment impact the health of watersheds.
Owl Pellet Dissection - Students will dissect the regurgitated remains of an owl's meal, including all the bones of the animals it ate (usually small rodents). Owls usually swallow their food whole, digest the edible parts, and then expel the indigestible parts through their mouth as a pellet.
Bird Beaks! This lesson focuses on bird beaks, exploring the relationship between a bird's beak and its ability to find food and survive in a given environment.
Bird Watching - Mesquite Wildlife Oasis is home to many different species of birds! Students will practice their observation and recording skills by exploring the Mesquite Habitat with binoculars and a field guide. This lesson will introduce students to the hobby of bird watching and the science of bird identification.
Geology – Students will learn how rocks are formed within the earth.
(Depending on class size, geodes may be available for students)
Mineral Testing - By using a simple scratch test, students will determine the relative hardness of an unknown mineral based on their properties!