Virtual Field Trips

The Education department at rare has created virtual field trips for educators to use in the classroom. These field trips cover a number of different topics from birding, and vermicomposting to benthic invertebrates. Be sure to revisit this page for more virtual field trips in the future. 

To gain access to rare’s virtual field trips, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

Backyard Birding

Exploring nature doesn’t mean we need to travel far away into the woods. This fun field trip will teach you and/or your students how to connect with the ‘near-nature’ and the local environment by  learning to identify some common birds. Test out your new birding skills in the bird ID quiz and then learn how to do some fun activities like making a birdfeeder at home!

This virtual field trip is appropriate for Primary students from Kindergarten – Grade 3 and is aligned with the Ontario Science curriculum in the following areas:

As children progress through the Kindergarten program they:

 

  • - 14. demonstrate an awareness of the natural and built environment through hands-on investigations, observations, questions, and representations of their findings
  • - 28. demonstrate an awareness of their surroundings
  • - 29. demonstrate an understanding of the natural world and the need to care for and respect the environment

Understanding Life Systems

Needs and Characteristics of Living Things

 

  • - 1.1 identify personal action that they themselves can take to help maintain a healthy environment for living things, including humans
  • - 2.2 investigate and compare the basic needs of humans and other living things, including the need for air, water, food, warmth, and space, using a variety of methods and resources
  • - 2.3 investigate and compare the physical characteristics of a variety of plants and animals, including humans
  • - 3.2 identify the physical characteristics (e.g., size, shape, colour, common parts) of a variety of plants and animals
  • - 3.4 describe the characteristics of a healthy environment, including clean air and water and nutritious food, and explain why it is important for all living things to have a healthy environment
  • - 3.5 describe how showing care and respect for all living things helps to maintain a healthy environment
  • - 3.7 describe how the things plants and animals use to meet their needs are changed by their use and are returned to the environment in different forms

Understanding Life Systems

Growth and Changes in Animals

 

  • - 1.2 identify positive and negative impacts that different kinds of human activity have on animals and where they live 
  • - 2.2 observe and compare the physical characteristics (e.g., fur or feathers; two legs or no legs) and the behavioural characteristics (e.g., predator or prey) of a variety of animals
  • - 2.3 investigate the life cycle of a variety of animals
  • - 2.4 observe and compare changes in the appearance and activity of animals as they go through a complete life cycle
  • - 2.5 investigate the ways in which a variety of animals adapt to their environment and/or to changes in their environment, using various methods
  • - 3.1 identify and describe major physical characteristics of different types of animals
  • - 3.2 describe an adaptation as a characteristic body part, shape, or behaviour that helps a plant or animal survive in its environment
  • - 3.3 identify ways in which animals are helpful to, and ways in which they meet the needs of, living things, including humans, to explain why humans should protect animals and the places where they live

The Wonderful World of Worms (Vermicomposting)

In this virtual field trip, students will dive beneath the soil surface and explore the wonderful world of worms! Students will learn about the role earthworms and other creatures play in the decomposition process and how they help to cycle nutrients back into the ecosystem. We will then discuss how we can harness this amazing worm power to begin to compost our own organic and paper waste!

This field trip will give you and your students the information and resources needed to set up their own vermicomposters (small, portable worm bins to turn organic scraps into rich garden soil) at home or in the classroom, and as well show how we use this system at the Springbank Farm at rare to compost food waste from the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank, and turn it into fresh soil to grow produce that then goes back to support food bank users!

This virtual field trip is designed for Grade 3 Students and is aligned with the Ontario Science curriculum in the following areas:

Understanding Earth and Space Systems

Soils in the Environment

 

  • - 1.1 assess the impact of soils on society and the environment, and suggest ways in which humans can enhance positive effects and/or lessen or prevent harmful effects
  • - 1.2 assess the impact of human action on soils, and suggest ways in which humans can affect soils positively and/or lessen or prevent harmful effects on soils
  • - 2.4 investigate the process of composting, and explain some advantages and disadvantages of composting
  • - 3.1 identify and describe the different types of soils 
  • - 3.2 identify additives that might be in soil but that cannot always be seen
  • - 3.3 describe the interdependence between the living and non-living things that make up soil
  • - 3.4 describe ways in which the components of various soils enable the soil to provide shelter/ homes and/or nutrients for different kinds of living things

Benthic Invertebrate Sampling (Water Quality)

This virtual field trip is a virtual edition of our Mirrored Research Benthic Invertebrate Sampling module. Just like in our in-person module, you and/or your students will learn how to identify benthic invertebrates. They will also learn how samples are extracted with D-nets, sieved, prepared for identification, and how the final health rating of a sample site can be assessed. 

This virtual field trip is appropriate for Secondary students and is aligned with the Ontario Science curriculum in the following areas:

  • A1. demonstrate scientific investigation skills (related to both inquiry and research) in the four areas of skills (initiating and planning, performing and recording, analysing and interpreting, and communicating);
    • - 1.1 formulate scientific questions about observed relationships, ideas, problems, and/or issues, make predictions, and/or formulate hypotheses to focus inquiries or research
    • - 1.2 select appropriate instruments and materials, and identify appropriate methods, techniques, and procedures, for each inquiry
    • - 1.5 conduct inquiries, controlling relevant variables, adapting or extending procedures as required, and using appropriate materials and equipment safely, accurately, and effectively, to collect observations and data
    • - 1.6 compile accurate data from laboratory and other sources, and organize and record the data, using appropriate formats, including tables, flow charts, graphs, and/or diagrams
    • - 1.8 synthesize, analyse, interpret, and evaluate qualitative data to determine whether the evidence supports or refutes the initial prediction or hypothesis and whether it is consistent with scientific theory; identify sources of bias and/or error; and suggest improvements to the inquiry to reduce the likelihood of error
    • - 1.10 draw conclusions based on inquiry results and research findings, and justify their conclusions
    • - 1.13 express the results of any calculations involving data accurately and precisely; to the appropriate number of decimal places or significant figures

  • A2. Identify and describe careers related to the fields of science under study, and describe the contributions of scientists, including Canadians, to those fields.
    • - 2.1 identify and describe a variety of careers related to the fields of science under study and the education and training necessary for these careers

  • A2. identify and describe careers related to the fields of science under study, and describe the contributions of scientists, including Canadians, to those fields

    • - A2.1 identify and describe a variety of careers related to the fields of science under study and the education and training necessary for these careers

  • B1. analyse the effects of various human activities on the diversity of living things
    • - 1.2 analyse the impact that climate change might have on the diversity of living things

  • B2. investigate, through laboratory and/or field activities or through simulations, the principles of scientific classification, using appropriate sampling and classification techniques
    • - 2.3 use proper sampling techniques to collect various organisms from a marsh, pond, field, or other ecosystem, and classify the organisms according to the principles of taxonomy

  • A2. identify and describe careers related to the fields of science under study, and describe the contributions of scientists, including Canadians, to those fields
    • - A2.1 identify and describe a variety of careers related to the fields of science under study and the education and training necessary for these careers
  • E1. analyse the origins and effects of water pollution, and a variety of economic, social, and environmental issues related to drinking water
    • - E1.1 analyse the origins and cumulative effects of pollutants that enter our water systems (e.g., landfill leachates, agricultural run-off, industrial effluents, chemical spills), and explain how these pollutants affect water quality
    • - E1.2 analyse economic, social, and environmental
      issues related to the distribution, purification,
      or use of drinking water
    • - E2.8 conduct an investigation to determine the concentrations of pollutants in their local treated
      drinking water, and compare the results to
      commonly used guidelines and standards

Request Access

    *Denotes a required field

    Select the virtual field trip you would like to access below*:

    Can we contact you for feedback on these resources? Your feedback may help us access grant funding to create more resources.*

    Would you like to be included in our mailing list for more educational resources and opportunities?

    Funded By:

    These curriculum-linked virtual field trips are provided free of charge and would not have been possible without the generous support of the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation.