On-Site Programs

On-site tours and activities are offered all year round on a "first come, first serve" basis. Our two classrooms will hold up to 60 students. There is a broad selection of topics to choose from, each tailored to complement curriculum requirements of elementary, middle and high school grades. We will try to adapt and accommodate your specific educational requirements. Each program takes about 3 hours to complete, including a short lunch break in the classroom. Shorter 1 to 2 hour guided sessions are also available at the same cost.

Cost: A fee of $2.00 per person including teachers and chaperones, will be charged to help offset associated costs.

Click on a program to begin a booking request.

Grade Primary

Using Your Senses in Nature

Did you know turkey vultures can smell their food from ­­6 kilometres away? Or that a red tailed hawk can see small rodents from 30 metres in the air? Animals have amazing senses, and the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park is an ideal place for students to explore the world of living things using their own senses! During this program, students will identify their senses, and use them to observe the wildlife on a guided park tour. Students also compare their senses to those of some amazing animals!

After the introduction activity, students use their own senses to learn about animal senses through a guided park tour. The beautiful sights of the park are accompanied by an assortment of sounds, smells, and textures. Students may hear to the calls of various animals, such as the noisy peafowl or the typically quiet red deer. They may smell various odours throughout the park- some pleasant and some that are used to warn off predators.

While in the park, students investigate how senses are helpful to us and to animals and that animals rely on their senses in many ways. A skunk uses a strong odour to protect itself. Many birds of prey species have a great sense of sight to spot small prey animals from above. River otters will feel with not only their paws, but their whiskers too!

Following the guided tour, students return to the classroom where they will share their experiences with one another. Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program including curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Grade 1

Needs and Characteristics of Living Things

Did you know that porcupines have about 30,000 quills? Have you ever seen deer antlers up close? What do Beavers, River Otters, and Ducks all have in common? Webbed Feet! Animals have extraordinary characteristics that are used to help them meet their survival needs. The Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park provides an ideal setting for students to observe many unique animal characteristics up close while exploring how they contribute to their needs. ‘Needs and Characteristics of Living Things’ is aligned to meet Nova Scotia Department of Education Grade One Curriculum Outcomes. During this program, students will identify, question, and explore needs and characteristics of animals at the park while participating in hands-on activities.

The program will begin in our classroom with an activity designed to investigate animal characteristics. This involves observing and touching items from our collection, such as animal furs, skulls, and tracks. Students will become familiar with characteristics they may see in the park and begin to think critically about how these characteristics relate to meeting animal needs.

After the introduction activity, students will participate in a guided tour of the park. Applying their skills and knowledge, students will learn interesting information about our animals at the park. Students will explore how a beaver finds shelter, how porcupines protect themselves, and how cougars hunt their prey!

Following the guided tour, students return to the classroom where they will share their experiences with one another. Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program including curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Grade 2

Animal Growth and Changes

Did you know that a dragonfly starts its life living in the water? Or that a porcupine is born with soft quills? Or that many animal species, such as the arctic fox have different colours for their summer and winter fur coat? Animals are constantly changing and growing- what better place to observe this first hand than while using the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park as your classroom! During this program, students explore how an animal’s appearance and behavior changes throughout their life and compare lifecycles of several animal species.

The program begins in our classroom with an activity to investigate lifecycles. In this activity, students will match pictures of juvenile and adult stages of various animals and compare their different characteristics. Depending on the time of year students may observe the different stages of ‘pond critters’ life cycles while using our MicroEye!

After the introduction activity, students will explore animal growth and changes through a guided park tour. Students look for different life stages and seasonal changes in an animal’s appearance or behavior. Depending on the time of year your class visits, animals will appear and behave in different ways. For instance, in late fall and throughout winter, many animals such as the fox, caribou, and wolves will have their thicker ‘winter coats’. During the spring, many newborn (or newly hatched) animals may be found around the park.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program with curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Grade 3

Species At Risk

The ‘Species at Risk’ program at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park is designed to meet NS Dept of Education General Curriculum Outcomes in all grades, touching upon the attitude aspect of science curricula. The important message behind this program is not only learning about species that are at risk, but what can be done to help diminish this. During this program, students learn how their actions can impact the future of species and habitats, forming a respect and appreciation for the natural world.

In the classroom students explore items from species at risk from around the world, such as furs, tusks, and plant specimens. Students investigate reasons why some species experience population declines, putting them at risk for extinction. Emphasis is placed on species that are at risk in Nova Scotia and comparisons made to how they may be similar or different from species at risk elsewhere in the world.

Applying their knowledge and skills from the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. Through this tour, students may observe Nova Scotia species at risk, such as the American marten, Canada lynx, and the peregrine falcon. They learn about the endangered status of the mainland moose, and the success story of the bald eagle. Topics may also involve species that have recently experienced declining populations, such as local bat and bee species, and the consequences this has for humans.

To conclude students will share their experiences and brainstorm actions to help species at risk, on both a local and a global scale.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program with curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Grade 4

Adaptations

Animals have amazing behavioural and physical adaptations to maximize their survival. Some animals protect themselves from predators with unique defense mechanisms, such as a skunk’s odour, or a porcupine’s quills.  Others may rely on camouflage to hide from predators or prey. Animals may also defend themselves from harsh seasonal conditions by migrating or hibernating. The Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park provides an ideal setting for students to observe animals who have unique adaptations to their environments. ‘Adaptations’ is designed to meet Nova Scotia Department of Education Curriculum Outcomes for grades four and six. During this program, students will identify, compare, and classify animal adaptations at the park while participating in hands on activities.

The program begins in our classroom with an activity linked to animal adaptations. This involves observing and touching items from our biological collection, such as animal furs, skulls, and tracks.

After the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. Students will observe wildlife representing several habitats and ranges.  For grade six classes, students also examine how bird species vary in their flight patterns, which are adapted for their survival needs. Students compare animals that are closely related, living in both similar and dissimilar habitats to demonstrate how environments affect adaptations.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program including curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Habitat

Explore habitats, their importance to animals, and conservation through our Grade Four program, ‘Habitats’. With over 50 species of animals, representing several types of habitats from around the world, the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park provides students with the opportunity to explore habitats from around the world in one location!

The program begins in our classroom where students explore types of habitats and animals that live there with a class activity. At the Greenwing Legacy Interpretive Centre, students explore wetland habitats in particular. With interactive displays, students will see the importance of wetlands, which are second only to rainforests in terms of biodiversity (the number of species that live there).

After the introduction activity, students continue to explore habitats with a guided park tour. Throughout the park, students observe animals from various habitats and investigate adaptations they have to those habitats. For example, students may see how river otters are well adapted to their habitat by having webbed feet, a rudder-like tail, and water-proof fur! During the park tour, students may observe species at risk in Nova Scotia, such as the American marten, and the peregrine falcon. Students will brainstorm how habitat conservation aids in the protection of many species and what can be done to help preserve them.

Following the guided tour, students return to the classroom where they will share their experiences with one another. Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this information, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Species At Risk

The ‘Species at Risk’ program at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park is designed to meet NS Dept of Education General Curriculum Outcomes in all grades, touching upon the attitude aspect of science curricula. The important message behind this program is not only learning about species that are at risk, but what can be done to help diminish this. During this program, students learn how their actions can impact the future of species and habitats, forming a respect and appreciation for the natural world.

In the classroom students explore items from species at risk from around the world, such as furs, tusks, and plant specimens. Students investigate reasons why some species experience population declines, putting them at risk for extinction. Emphasis is placed on species that are at risk in Nova Scotia and comparisons made to how they may be similar or different from species at risk elsewhere in the world.

Applying their knowledge and skills from the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. Through this tour, students may observe Nova Scotia species at risk, such as the American marten, Canada lynx, and the peregrine falcon. They learn about the endangered status of the mainland moose, and the success story of the bald eagle. Topics may also involve species that have recently experienced declining populations, such as local bat and bee species, and the consequences this has for humans.

To conclude students will share their experiences and brainstorm actions to help species at risk, on both a local and a global scale.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program with curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Grade 5

Species At Risk

The ‘Species at Risk’ program at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park is designed to meet NS Dept of Education General Curriculum Outcomes in all grades, touching upon the attitude aspect of science curricula. The important message behind this program is not only learning about species that are at risk, but what can be done to help diminish this. During this program, students learn how their actions can impact the future of species and habitats, forming a respect and appreciation for the natural world.

In the classroom students explore items from species at risk from around the world, such as furs, tusks, and plant specimens. Students investigate reasons why some species experience population declines, putting them at risk for extinction. Emphasis is placed on species that are at risk in Nova Scotia and comparisons made to how they may be similar or different from species at risk elsewhere in the world.

Applying their knowledge and skills from the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. Through this tour, students may observe Nova Scotia species at risk, such as the American marten, Canada lynx, and the peregrine falcon. They learn about the endangered status of the mainland moose, and the success story of the bald eagle. Topics may also involve species that have recently experienced declining populations, such as local bat and bee species, and the consequences this has for humans.

To conclude students will share their experiences and brainstorm actions to help species at risk, on both a local and a global scale.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program with curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Grade 6

Adaptations

Animals have amazing behavioural and physical adaptations to maximize their survival. Some animals protect themselves from predators with unique defense mechanisms, such as a skunk’s odour, or a porcupine’s quills.  Others may rely on camouflage to hide from predators or prey. Animals may also defend themselves from harsh seasonal conditions by migrating or hibernating. The Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park provides an ideal setting for students to observe animals who have unique adaptations to their environments. ‘Adaptations’ is designed to meet Nova Scotia Department of Education Curriculum Outcomes for grades four and six. During this program, students will identify, compare, and classify animal adaptations at the park while participating in hands on activities.

The program begins in our classroom with an activity linked to animal adaptations. This involves observing and touching items from our biological collection, such as animal furs, skulls, and tracks.

After the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. Students will observe wildlife representing several habitats and ranges.  For grade six classes, students also examine how bird species vary in their flight patterns, which are adapted for their survival needs. Students compare animals that are closely related, living in both similar and dissimilar habitats to demonstrate how environments affect adaptations.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program including curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Classification of Biodiversity

What makes a frog an amphibian? Did you know that wetlands are second only to rainforests in biodiversity? At the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park, students have the opportunity to explore animals including mammals, birds, amphibians, invertebrates and more!  The biodiversity program is designed to meet Nova Scotia Department of Education Curriculum Outcomes in ‘Diversity of Life’. During this program, students will learn to classify animals by their common characteristics while exploring species from various groups.

The program begins in our classroom with an activity which investigates invertebrates, vertebrates, and the five classes of vertebrates (mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and birds). Students may participate in a classification game and observe micro-organisms under a microscope.

After the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. While applying their skills and knowledge, students learn interesting information about the animals in the park. Students explore various species and discover how to classify them based on their characteristics.  

Following the guided tour, students return to the classroom where they share their experiences with one another and conclude by creating a diagram with examples of the different types of animal classification they found during the program.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program including curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Species At Risk

The ‘Species at Risk’ program at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park is designed to meet NS Dept of Education General Curriculum Outcomes in all grades, touching upon the attitude aspect of science curricula. The important message behind this program is not only learning about species that are at risk, but what can be done to help diminish this. During this program, students learn how their actions can impact the future of species and habitats, forming a respect and appreciation for the natural world.

In the classroom students explore items from species at risk from around the world, such as furs, tusks, and plant specimens. Students investigate reasons why some species experience population declines, putting them at risk for extinction. Emphasis is placed on species that are at risk in Nova Scotia and comparisons made to how they may be similar or different from species at risk elsewhere in the world.

Applying their knowledge and skills from the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. Through this tour, students may observe Nova Scotia species at risk, such as the American marten, Canada lynx, and the peregrine falcon. They learn about the endangered status of the mainland moose, and the success story of the bald eagle. Topics may also involve species that have recently experienced declining populations, such as local bat and bee species, and the consequences this has for humans.

To conclude students will share their experiences and brainstorm actions to help species at risk, on both a local and a global scale.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program with curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Junior High

Classification of Biodiversity

What makes a frog an amphibian? Did you know that wetlands are second only to rainforests in biodiversity? At the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park, students have the opportunity to explore animals including mammals, birds, amphibians, invertebrates and more!  The biodiversity program is designed to meet Nova Scotia Department of Education Curriculum Outcomes in ‘Diversity of Life’. During this program, students will learn to classify animals by their common characteristics while exploring species from various groups.

The program begins in our classroom with an activity which investigates invertebrates, vertebrates, and the five classes of vertebrates (mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and birds). Students may participate in a classification game and observe micro-organisms under a microscope.

After the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. While applying their skills and knowledge, students learn interesting information about the animals in the park. Students explore various species and discover how to classify them based on their characteristics.  

Following the guided tour, students return to the classroom where they share their experiences with one another and conclude by creating a diagram with examples of the different types of animal classification they found during the program.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program including curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Species At Risk

The ‘Species at Risk’ program at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park is designed to meet NS Dept of Education General Curriculum Outcomes in all grades, touching upon the attitude aspect of science curricula. The important message behind this program is not only learning about species that are at risk, but what can be done to help diminish this. During this program, students learn how their actions can impact the future of species and habitats, forming a respect and appreciation for the natural world.

In the classroom students explore items from species at risk from around the world, such as furs, tusks, and plant specimens. Students investigate reasons why some species experience population declines, putting them at risk for extinction. Emphasis is placed on species that are at risk in Nova Scotia and comparisons made to how they may be similar or different from species at risk elsewhere in the world.

Applying their knowledge and skills from the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. Through this tour, students may observe Nova Scotia species at risk, such as the American marten, Canada lynx, and the peregrine falcon. They learn about the endangered status of the mainland moose, and the success story of the bald eagle. Topics may also involve species that have recently experienced declining populations, such as local bat and bee species, and the consequences this has for humans.

To conclude students will share their experiences and brainstorm actions to help species at risk, on both a local and a global scale.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program with curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Wetland Ecosystems

Wetland ecosystems are home to more 600 species of wildlife! Through the Wetland Ecosystems Program, students will have the opportunity to explore various aspects of wetland ecosystems. This program is designed to meet NS Dept of Education curriculum outcomes in Grade 7 Life Science and Grade 10 Science.

During this program, students will investigate components of our local ecosystem, identify and classify organisms as producers, consumers, and decomposers, while exploring over 50 species of animals that represent various levels in an ecosystem. Students will discover the interaction amongst water plants, invertebrates, birds and mammals.

The program begins in our classroom with a brief introduction to the components of an ecosystem such as biotic and abiotic factors, and trophic levels. Students explore a series of wetlands before using dip nets to search for pond life. Students learn to identify various invertebrates and investigate the role of biodiversity in wetlands determining the health of an ecosystem. 

After the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. While applying their skills and knowledge, students learn interesting information about the animals in the park and their various roles within ecosystems. Students may see primary consumers such as moose, beavers, and Sable Island horses. Students may see secondary or tertiary consumers including cougars, bears, and wolves.

Following the guided tour, students return to the classroom where they share their experiences with one another and review their collected data.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program including curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Senior High

Careers in the Department of Natural Resources

This program meets the needs of the O2 program’s Community-Based Learning field trips. Students interested in pursuing: Culture, Hospitality and Tourism, Health and Human Services, Trades and Technologies, and Business can all find careers within the Department of Natural Resources.

The program begins with an overview of what the Department of Natural Resources does, what the various career options are, and how to apply. The importance of Health and Safety will be emphasized, as well as post-secondary education options. We will then look more in depth at the range of jobs offered at the Wildlife Park itself. Not every job is hands-on with the animals, in fact very few employees actually enter the animal enclosures every day, but our animal family depends on a team of workers.

After the introduction, students head into the Wildlife Park itself to see in person the enormous undertaking running a Park is. Hospitality is a major component with thousands of people visiting the Park every year. Maintenance of the trails, enclosures and facilities is also a full-time job.  Animals do not take vacations or celebrate holidays, and their homes are exposed to all weather and seasons, which means our employees enjoy a similar lifestyle!

As the students tour the park with their guide they will get the chance to meet with other Wildliife Park employees and observe their tasks first hand and ask questions, and gain understanding of what the job is really like. Our friendly staff enjoy sharing their personal backgrounds and experience, additionally the students will get to see the great care we give to our animal family. The health and safety of our animals and our staff is our highest priority.

For a summary of this information including curriculum outcomes, download our Teacher’s Guide.

Data Collection

Accurate data collection is essential to the health of ecosystems and animal populations. Join us to learn more about how and why biologists gather data. Your class will gather some data with their own hands too! During this program students collect invertebrates in our biologically diverse wetlands, also noting what abiotic factors are present and what effect they may be having on the sustainability of the ecosystem. Using a quadrant study students measure the diversity of plants in three different ecosystems. During the guided tour students take note of the trophic levels, different ecosystems, and geographic locations the animals are from. This hands-on data collection will help apply a greater understanding to how ecosystems function in the real-world.

The program begins in our classroom with an overview of methods biologists use to collect data in the field, emphasizing what kind of data we collect about our animals every day. After the brief introduction, students head into our wetlands to gather some data of their own. Students do a quadrant study comparing the plants growing in wetland ecosystems, to those in grassland ecosystems, and forest ecosystems. They use dip nets to catch “pond critters” (invertebrates) exploring wetland biodiversity and noting the pertinent abiotic factors. What effect do these external factors have on the sustainability of the ecosystem?

During the guided Park tour, students complete a worksheet, noting what trophic level the animal is likely part of, how it is classified and where it lives geographically. This way they can see the similarities between animals that live in the same ecosystem and how energy flows through the trophic levels.

For a summary of this program including curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Species At Risk

The ‘Species at Risk’ program at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park is designed to meet NS Dept of Education General Curriculum Outcomes in all grades, touching upon the attitude aspect of science curricula. The important message behind this program is not only learning about species that are at risk, but what can be done to help diminish this. During this program, students learn how their actions can impact the future of species and habitats, forming a respect and appreciation for the natural world.

In the classroom students explore items from species at risk from around the world, such as furs, tusks, and plant specimens. Students investigate reasons why some species experience population declines, putting them at risk for extinction. Emphasis is placed on species that are at risk in Nova Scotia and comparisons made to how they may be similar or different from species at risk elsewhere in the world.

Applying their knowledge and skills from the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. Through this tour, students may observe Nova Scotia species at risk, such as the American marten, Canada lynx, and the peregrine falcon. They learn about the endangered status of the mainland moose, and the success story of the bald eagle. Topics may also involve species that have recently experienced declining populations, such as local bat and bee species, and the consequences this has for humans.

To conclude students will share their experiences and brainstorm actions to help species at risk, on both a local and a global scale.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program with curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide

Wetland Ecosystems

Wetland ecosystems are home to more 600 species of wildlife! Through the Wetland Ecosystems Program, students will have the opportunity to explore various aspects of wetland ecosystems. This program is designed to meet NS Dept of Education curriculum outcomes in Grade 7 Life Science and Grade 10 Science.

During this program, students will investigate components of our local ecosystem, identify and classify organisms as producers, consumers, and decomposers, while exploring over 50 species of animals that represent various levels in an ecosystem. Students will discover the interaction amongst water plants, invertebrates, birds and mammals.

The program begins in our classroom with a brief introduction to the components of an ecosystem such as biotic and abiotic factors, and trophic levels. Students explore a series of wetlands before using dip nets to search for pond life. Students learn to identify various invertebrates and investigate the role of biodiversity in wetlands determining the health of an ecosystem. 

After the introduction activity, students participate in a guided tour of the park. While applying their skills and knowledge, students learn interesting information about the animals in the park and their various roles within ecosystems. Students may see primary consumers such as moose, beavers, and Sable Island horses. Students may see secondary or tertiary consumers including cougars, bears, and wolves.

Following the guided tour, students return to the classroom where they share their experiences with one another and review their collected data.

Groups have the option of having lunch in the classroom or from May 15 to Oct 15 groups can use our picnic/playground area.

For a summary of this program including curriculum outcomes, download our Printable Teacher's Guide