King Fish Environmental, LLC
Junior Naturalist Homeschool Class
For 4th-5th and 6th grade students
King Fish Environmental, LLC is proud to offer its first 8 month Junior Naturalist Training. In this class your child will learn the observation and outdoor skills of John Muir, Florence Merriam Bailey, Aldo Leopold, John Bartram, David Douglas, Martha Laurens Ramsey, Martha Daniel Logan, and Eliza Lucas Pinckney and Gregor Mendel.
The goal for the Junior Naturalist Class is to prepare students for lifelong learning in the outdoors. King Fish Environmental is offering a schedule of classes beginning October 2nd. For the next 8 months King Fish Environmental will schedule 4 field trips per month. A 2-hour class each Wednesday afternoon from 2 pm to 4 pm teaching 4th, 5th and 6th grade students concepts they will apply in an outdoor setting here in the coastal plain. This series of naturalist classes will emphasize the discovery of God’s Creation. We will learn and use traditional methods of the past and present to become trained naturalists well versed in the natural history of Coastal South Carolina. Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Literature and Math will be major components for every student as we spend time developing our naturalist skills to discover our South Carolina Coastal Environment. Christian Leadership, botany, biology, outdoor skills, technology, and some Mathematics will be components of this 8-month adventure.
Our first class of the school year will meet at Fort Moultrie National Historic Site on Sullivan’s Island on October 2nd from 2-4pm. Please meet in front of the large SC Coast wall map inside the visitors center at Fort Moultrie
Reservations are required. You may reserve your students place by responding to this message below in the comment section or call Jim Koenig at: 843-810-3344
Forever the best education environment for students has been an environment fostering applied conceptual learning. We will apply what we are learning and take the classroom experience to the field; this is the key component making this class unique and unforgettable.
Parents are, and will be encouraged to tag along in every class. At least one parent volunteer will always accompany Jim Koenig of King Fish Environmental, LLC as we learn the ways of all things wild God has created in our outdoor classroom.
Our venues for class exploration will include Palmetto Islands and Fort Moultrie National Historic Site, The South Carolina Aquarium, Pitt Street Bridge and various other wetlands, beaches, and trails throughout the Low Country. Our home base will be Palmetto Islands County Park.
The cost for this class is $ 60.00 for 4 classes attended the months of October, November, December 2 classes/January 2 classes (with Dec. and Jan. treated as one month,) February, March, April and May. If you would like to come to only one class the cost is $20.00 per class per student. Payment for the month of classes is required on the 20th of the prior month. (Example: for October classes, payment is due by September 20th) King Fish Environmental, LLC will limit each class to 12 students only.
- Homework is optional and left to the discretion of the parent and student.
Textbook suggestions and references for this class will be found each week in your email. Paper handouts will be minimal, and we will take full advantage of information on the World Wide Web or the library.
- Further recommendations for electronic wildlife applications will be optional, however encouraged.
- Each student will create a journal or scrapbook of sketches, pictures, writings and observations as a record of their discoveries.
- Homeschool parents will assign student grades.
Our field experiences will be our classroom experiences and organized around a theme such as stream, wetland, or forest studies. Every class will take place at a field site chosen based on learning objectives, student needs, safety, and proximity to all students to limit commuting. Estuary trips will be conducted in a location allowing hiking and field activities focusing on a particular ecosystem. Focused studies will encourage student observation and sensory exploration to help each participant become familiar with the ecosystem and all of its characteristics. Listed below are some sample class activities: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
Kingdom Animalia an Animal Class
- Animal Signs and Observation: Students rotate through stations filled with real animal artifacts including skulls, pelts, and track prints while making detailed field observations.
- Wetland Animal Adaptations: Students using costumes, students will learn what it is like to be a wetland animal living in a watery habitat. Emphasis is on frogs and beavers.
- Animal Tracks: Students will learn the parts of a track and discover how tracks reveal animal behavior and movements.
Aves a Birds Class
- Introduction to Local Bird Identification: Students will learn about common southeast birds, how to identify key bird characteristics, and how to use popular field guides and new electronic applications.
- Bird Adaptations: Students will observe structural adaptations found among many different bird species and create their own bird, illustrating many of their features.
Ichthyology the study of fish
- Redfish Lifecycle: During this introduction to the redfish lifecycle students will experience the challenges redfish face as they search for food and we will look at the food they eat and how their food can escape smell their way home to spawn.
- Fish crab, squid, clam, and oyster dissection: Students will participate in dissecting. We will examine anatomical and behavioral adaptations that give each species a competitive advantage to survive. http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/visitor/sites/default/files/education-programs/docs/previsit_fish_dissection.pdf
- Southeast Trees: Students will be introduced to common southeastern trees and will examine tree rings to learn how each facet of a tree enables the tree to function and survive the constant threat of disease and pests in the forest. Students will study trees and look for signs of disease and tree pest.
- Layers of the Forest: Students will create a detailed drawing of the three main forest layers including plants and animals found in the southeast.
Aquatic Invertebrates (aquatic arthropods)
- Introduction to Invertebrates: Students will discover how invertebrates relate to water quality by identifying and sketching specimens collected in the field.
- Invertebrate Feeding and Adaptations: Students will investigate physical and behavioral adaptations to understand how each invertebrate meet the demands of their specific habitat.
Southeast Ecology and Coastal Habitats
- Food Web: Students will learn how energy is transferred from producers, consumers, and decomposers by observing and making a food web with local plants and animals.
- Habitats of the Southeast: Students will be introduced to common habitats of the coastal South Carolina Coast by matching plants and animals with their respective habitats.
- Habitat Restoration: Students will learn how habitat restoration can increase environmental diversity by reducing the number of invasive species and increasing the number of native plants.
- Introduction to Estuaries: Students will learn the key characteristics of an estuary by catching and looking at plankton through a microscope, investigating tidal zones and seeing how salt and fresh water mix.
- Introduction to Wetlands: Students will make comparisons between common objects and wetland characteristics to learn about the ecological functions of wetlands.
Plants, Soils and Storm Water
- Introduction to Plant Identification: Students will learn simple botanical terms and apply their knowledge while identifying plant samples using a dichotomous key.
- Native Plants and Invasive Plants: Students will use clues, photographs and actual plants found on our trip to categorize native and invasive plants and discover why invasive plants are harmful to native plants, animals and humans.
- Native American Plant Use: Students will learn how native plants found in their schoolyard and local habitats can be used as food, shelter, medicine, and transportation.
- Wetland Plant Adaptations: Students will closely examine and sketch live Southeast wetland plants to learn more about the special adaptations that help them survive their watery habitat.
- Introduction to Soils: Students perform hands-on experiments and observations to differentiate between sand, silt, clay, hydric soils and detritus soils.
- Introduction to Storm Water Solutions: Students will learn to identify pollutants, read aerial maps, distinguish between pervious and impervious surfaces, calculate runoff and design greener cities.
- Schoolyard and Park Soil Testing: Students will test schoolyard soil to determine moisture, texture, color, pH, and infiltration rate.
Streams and Watersheds
- Stream Table: Using a hands-on stream model students will learn how streams change over time and the relationships between vegetation, sediment, wildlife, and flowing water.
- What is a Watershed? Using an Watershed Model and student created map, students will learn about a watershed and how land use affects their local watershed.
- Introduction to Water Quality Monitoring: Students will learn about several water quality parameters and how they relate to stream and wetland health. Students measure pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and turbidity.
- Water Quality Testing and the Water Cycle: Using the scientific method, students will observe stream conditions, make predictions on the quality of the water based on their observations, and use water chemistry kits to collect data on the water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and turbidity of the water system on site. Class recommendations: Intro to Water Quality, Stream Table, What is a Watershed.
- Students will travel on Project Wet’s “Incredible Journey” to trace the movement of water as it changes from solid, to liquid, to gas.
- Macro invertebrate Sampling: Students will learn how to collect, study, and identify live macro invertebrates. Based on the types of macro invertebrates present in the stream, they will make predictions about health of the stream. Class recommendations: Introduction to Macro invertebrates, Stream Table
Birding and Animal Observations
- Students will tune in their senses to discover and track what animals inhabit a park. Field trips offer many opportunities for teachable moments based on the observations students make as the group hikes and explores the area: holes in trees, bird calls, animal tracks, and everyone’s favorite- scat! Class recommendations: Animal Signs and Observations, Introduction to Local Birds, Bird Adaptations.
- Native Plant Investigation: Students will learn basic botanical terms, how to use a dichotomous key, and how to make a scientific drawing to identify and learn about native plants. Class recommendations: Introduction to Plant Identification, Native and Invasive Plants.
- Ocean Seining is a fantastic and a very dynamic class taught by Jim Koenig on the beach and in the surf. Getting kids in the surf pulling a big seine net in order to see what lives where we swim and play provides instant hands on learning opportunities. There are a lot of squeals of “Oh my goodness I didn’t know that so many animals swim with me!”. Jim brings 30 years of science and outdoor knowledge to every field trip to make the class grade specific and a lot of fun for everyone. Seining is held at one of our local beaches on one of the Barrier Islands that line the coast of South Carolina. Educators will bring their students to the beach to help Jim pull a 35 foot long seine net in the surf and Jim will teach students safe handling procedures and he will allow every student to handle creatures and release them safely back into the ocean. Jim will identify and educate students about each species and it’s importance to our ecosystem. This class is a great learning experience for kids of all ages and seining becomes fun for teachers and parents to see how science and kids thrive in the outdoors. (grades K-12) Topics covered in this class will include: Barrier Islands formation and destruction, tides, erosion, deposition, dunes, intra-tidal zone, sub-tidal zone, epipelagic zone, habitat destruction, pollution, fish behavior and fish anatomy, barrier island formation, species identification and classification.