Activities, Lessons & Links
The educational activities on our website complement the environmental education courses taught at Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center (HBF), while incorporating science, reading and math. Please use them to help prepare your students for their trip to HBF. We have organized the lessons by topics that are universal and of value to teachers and students everywhere. We’ve also provided Learning Standards and Alignments for local school systems.
|Classified Information: Students learn the basic concepts of classification by sorting imaginary creatures to create an identification key in “Creature Feature”, then, move on to using a key to classify and identify some of the local species of fish here at Hard Bargain Farm in “Fishin’ for a Name”. Recommended as a preparation or follow-up activity for Bird Watching, Fish Adaptation, Habitat Hike, and Up A Creek courses at Hard Bargain Farm.||Cow In and Out Game: In this fun and informative activity, students learn the “ins” and “outs” of cattle. The “Cow In and Out Game” requires students to decide what goes into the cows, and what comes from them by sorting a variety of items. Recommended as a preparation activity for any of the agriculture courses offered at Hard Bargain Farm, especially for younger students.|
|“Let’s Take a Dip” is a virtual dip netting activity. Students get to “virtually” catch the kinds of organisms they might find when they really dip net here at Hard Bargain Farm. Students will make predictions, collect, organize and compare data and practice the principles of the scientific method. Recommended as a preparation or follow-up activity for Habitat Hike, and Up A Creek courses at Hard Bargain Farm.||Take Out the Trash helps students learn how to Rethink, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in order to become better environmental stewards. Activities include packing a “Trash Free Lunch” online, comparing and ranking lunches, “Trash Sorting”, and analyzing their lunch trash data collected during the field trip. Recommended as a preparation activity for any of the courses offered at Hard Bargain Farm.|
|Ways of a Watershed: What in the world are watersheds? This interactive online lesson defines what a watershed is, and follows a single raindrop on its journey from the sky to the ocean. Recommended as a preparation activity for any of the courses offered at Hard Bargain Farm, especially Habitat Hike, Down to Earth and River’s In Action.||Water Cycle: Water on the Move allows students to explore the water cycle through a series of interactive lessons. Recommended as a preparation activity for any of the courses offered at Hard Bargain Farm, especially Rivers in Action and Down to Earth.|
These lessons are arranged by subject because even though they were each written for specific grade levels and standards, they can be modified for other grade levels.
- Life Cycle Introduction: Grade 1 Students will collect seeds and create a diagram of a plant’s life cycle using their seed.
- Natural Resources: Grade 3 Students will observe natural resources in their schoolyard and explain how Earth’s natural resources are used to meet their needs.
- Die and Decay: Grade 3 Students will collect once-living organisms in order to create and perform a skit that demonstrates how a living organism dies and decays.
- Rocks: Grade 4 Students will classify and categorize rocks, both sets provided by the teacher and rocks that students collect from the schoolyard.
- Energy in Ecosystems: Grade 5 Students will use the scientific method to determine how energy moves in ecosystems and go outside to make observations about the movement of energy.
- Winter Adaptations: Grade 5 Students will create a comic strip to demonstrate how one or more organisms adapt to survive Maryland’s winter climate.
- Compasses and Magnets: Grade 6 Students will use a compass to complete a scavenger hunt, create a compass outdoors, and determine the connection between compasses and magnetism.
- Ecosystem Food Web Mural Students will research and present information on organisms found in a specific aquatic habitat and them combine their information to create a food web mural.
- Traditions: Grade 3 Students will read directions for a traditional Chinese children’s game, go outside and play the game, then write their own directions for a traditional game they enjoy.
- Wiggling Worms: Grade 3 Students will keep a record of questions about earthworms, observations of their adaptations, and results of an experiment. They will use this knowledge as they set up a class vermicompost bin.
- Tall Tales: Grade 4 Students will learn about hyperboles, hike part of the Dogwood Trail making observations as they go, and then write “chain” tall tales in the classroom.
- Informational Paragraph: Grade 4 Students will write an informational paragraph about why winter is or is not their favorite season including three supporting details. They will go outside for part of class to experience what winter feels like and get some ideas for their supporting details.
- Winter Poems: Grade 5 Students will write a winter poem after going outside and experiencing winter weather.
- Descriptive Writing: Grade 5 Students will use descriptive words and phrases to describe something outside using as much descriptive language as possible.
- Adding and Subtracting Decimals: Grade 4 Students will take measurements outside and then practice adding and subtracting decimals using their data.
- Wheres the Corn Students will recognize the importance of corn by discovering that corn products are in unexpected foods.