This spring first and second grade students throughout the district participated in educational activities at the District’s environmental outdoor classroom, Big Hill.
First graders completed prairie activities, practiced tree identification, and explored the hill with a scavenger hunt. Second graders studied pond critters, used their senses to explore the Big Hill, and learned to use binoculars while identifying birds. Sue Brockel, Big Hill Resource Teacher for the district, identified 10 fun facts about the visits as students were engaged in these hands-on science activities investigating the pond, prairie, and forest habitats.
- Twenty-four classes of first and second graders had fun lessons doing Big Hill activities.
- The May apples finally started blooming.
- The robin on her next in the shelter kept everyone watching for babies.
- Baby painted turtles hatched and were a wonderful find.
- Ducks and geese landed on the pond.
- The bluebirds had a turf war with the swallows over the nesting boxes.
- Pond critters included minnows, leeches, dragonfly nymphs, tadpoles, water backswimmers, water scorpions, and much more.
- The wood violets, Wisconsin’s state flower, were blooming.
- A snake slithered near the shelter getting everyone’s attention.
- Sandy Kahl, Steve, Kahl, and Sue Brockel wish to thank the teachers, parents, the DeForest Area School District Board of Education, and the Big Hill Committee for their support.
The Big Hill Environmental Learning Center is an area rich in diverse plant and animal communities and habitat: wetland, prairie, oak savanna, and woodland, owned jointly by the DeForest Area School District and the Town of Windsor. Since 2004 it has been a Wisconisin School Forest.