School Programs

Updated February 28, 2024

Registration for school programs funded by Yukon Government’s Department of Education is now open!

We’re excited to be bringing a brand-new suite of programming to students and teachers in Yukon. The new programs feature updated learning activities, more time for inquiry-based and self-directed learning, and more time to explore all that Yukon Wildlife Preserve has to offer!

 

Our programs take place mostly outside. Please make sure your students are prepared to spend at least 90 minutes outside, whatever the weather!

 

Our Philosophy

Our programs are an opportunity for students to actively engage with the natural world and wildlife in ways not feasible in the classroom. We give students opportunities to explore nature in depth and provide ample opportunities for inquiry-based learning.

We believe:

  • Students need to be active participants in their learning;
  • Nature is not just a science lesson – its a life lesson with science;
  • Wildlife and natural spaces are not just a science lesson;
  • Exploration and inquiry are vital parts of learning.

Some of the ways this philosophy is expressed in our programs includes:

  • Programs are special, unique experiences crafted for the interests and ability of that grade.
  • ‘Seeing all the animals’ is a passive activity; more depth is required for the most successful programs.
  • Stories have been used to share information for thousands of years; we continue to use them to connect students to the world around them.
  • We relate to wildlife and nature through science, social studies, English language arts, physical and healthy education, and more.
  • We create opportunities for unstructured learning – games and activities where students get to choose how and what they will engage with.
  • We recognize that children don’t see things the way we adults do – that a muskox is cool, but sometimes the bug on the ground is cooler. Our activities take this into account, preferring the immediate, touchable experience to the look from afar experience.
Our Resource

In addition to 12+ species of Yukon’s Boreal and Arctic Species on a 700 acre site, our school program resources and facilities also include:

  • Learning Centre for indoor play, stories, lunch and shelter from inclement weather;
  • Bathrooms (outhouses);
  • Emergency transportation and first-aid materials.

Programs are conducted outdoors. In the event of severe or prolonged inclement weather it may be necessary to cancel and try re-booking a program.

Included in Programs

Through our partnership with Yukon Government’s Department of Education, programs are available at no cost to schools or students.

Funded programs include:

  • Admission to Yukon Wildlife Preserve for students, teachers, staff, and volunteers,
  • An educator-led program (usually about 60 minutes, depending on grade) for each class,
  • An exploration guidebook for each student or group of students, full of activities and learning extensions,
  • In inclement weather, access to the Preserve’s Learning Centre, an indoor space for lunches.

Funded programs do not include:

  • Transportation to and from the Preserve,
  • Guided tours of the Preserve,
  • Additional programming beyond the scheduled time,
  • Programming for classes from outside Yukon.

If you would like to request additional programming not covered by Department of Education, please contact us at education@yukonwildlife.ca. Charges may apply for programming outside of the scope of our funding agreement with Department of Education.

Program Schedule

For the 2023-24 school year, we are excited to announce a new, more flexible programming schedule! Programs are now available most days school is in session, starting any time between 9:00am and 12:30pm (with some restrictions).

Our flexible programming schedule also provides more time for self-directed exploration and inquiry-based learning time. Classes will spend part of their visit with Yukon Wildlife Preserve educators and part of their time exploring their own interests, with the assistance of exploration guidebooks.

We will send you a booking-specific schedule when we confirm your booking. As an example of what to expect, for two grade 4 classes:

  • 9:30am: Arrive at Yukon Wildlife Preserve. Bathroom breaks.
  • 9:40am: Welcome, split into groups to begin student-led exploration.
  • 10:00am: Class 1 attends their formal program with an educator, including games, touch tables, and a mule deer walk.
  • 11:00am: Class 1 ends their program, continues their student-led exploration.
  • 11:15am: Class 2 attends their formal program with an educator, including games, touch tables, and a mule deer walk.
  • 12:30pm: Class 2 ends their program, continues their student-led exploration.
  • At your discretion: classes return to the bus and head back to school.
Weather

Our programs take place mostly outside. While some indoor spaces are available for warming up and eating, you should anticipate being outside for most of the day. Please ensure your students are prepared to spend at least 90 minutes outside.

If the weather is below -30 degrees Celcius, our programs will not run. We’ll contact you to organize a rebooking.

If you need to cancel, due to weather, staff illness, transportation issues, or other circumstances, let us know as soon as possible. We’ll work with you to rebook the program at the next available opportunity.

Cancellations

If you need to cancel, due to weather, staff illness, transportation issues, or other circumstances, let us know as soon as possible.

If we need to cancel, due to weather or other circumstances, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Either way, we’ll work with you to rebook you as soon as possible.

Program Descriptions & Curriculum Connections

 These programs are free for Yukon students thanks to our partnership with Department of Education.

Kindergarten - Big Bison Bodies

Available starting March 25, 2024.

The smallest students learn from the biggest bison!

By meeting the largest animals resident at the Preserve, students will gain an understanding of how animals meet their daily needs. They will explore how different parts of the bison help it stay warm, find food, and deal with danger. They will then continue to explore the Preserve and see how other animals and plants deal with these same daily needs.

Students will:

  1. Use their senses to understand about bison, including: seeing and hearing a bison herd, touching bison parts and artifacts, and asking questions.
  2. Learn what bison body parts do through exploration and play.
  3. Explore other animals and plants at Yukon Wildlife Preserve, developing a deeper understanding of what animals and plants need to survive and how their bodies help them meet those needs.

 

Curriculum Connections

Items indicated in bold font are key focuses of this program.

Big Ideas

Science (Kindergarten) 

  • Plants and animals have observable features.

Content 

Science (Kindergarten) 

  • Basic needs of plants and animals.
  • Adaptations of local plants and animals.

    English Language Arts (Kindergarten)

    • Story
      • Structure of a story
      • Literary elements and devices
    • Strategies and processes
      • Oral language strategies.

     

    Core Competencies

    Science (Kindergarten)

    • Planning and conducting
      • Make exploratory observations using their senses.
    • Processing and analyzing data and information
      • Experience and interpret the local environment.

    Physical and Health Education (Kindergarten)

    • Physical literacy
      • Develop and demonstrate a variety of fundamental movement skills in a variety of physical activities and environments.
    • Healthy and active living
      • Participate daily in physical activity at moderate to vigorous intensity levels.

    English Language Arts (Kindergarten)

    • Comprehend and connect (reading, listening, viewing)
      • Recognize the structure of story.
      • Use sources of information and prior knowledge to make meaning.
    Grade 1 - What's That?

    Available starting April 29, 2024.

    An introduction to Yukon life.

    Students will explore Yukon Wildlife Preserve, meeting some of the animals and plants that thrive across the territory. From moose to musk ox to moss, students will build a basic understanding of life in Yukon. 

    Students will:

    1. Meet common Yukon animals and plants.
    2. Explore adaptations that allow animals and plants to thrive here.
    3. Share their new knowledge and questions with their peers.

     

    Curriculum Connections

    Items indicated in bold font are key focuses of this program.

     

    Big Ideas

    Science (1)

    • Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment.

    Content

    Science (1)

    • Classification of living and non-living things.
    • Names of local plants and animals.
    • Structural features of living things in the local environment.
    • Behavioural adaptations of animals in the local environment.

    English Language Arts (1)

    • Strategies and processes
      • Reading strategies.
      • Oral language strategies.
    • Language features, structures, and conventions
      • Concepts of print.
      • Print awareness.

    Physical and Health Education (1)

    • Proper technique for fundamental movement skills, including non-locomotor, locomotor, and manipulative skills.
    • How to participate in different types of physical activities, including individual and dual activities, rhythmic activities, and games.

    Social Studies (1)

    • Diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives within the local and other communities.
    • Relationships between a community and its environment.

     

    Core Competencies

    Science (1)

    • Questioning and predicting
      • Demonstrate curiosity and a sense of wonder about the world.
      • Observe objects and events in familiar contexts.
      • Ask questions about familiar objects and events.
      • Make simple predictions about familiar objects and events.
    • Planning and conducting
      • Make and record observations.
      • Make and record simple measurements using informal or non-standard methods.
    • Processing and analyzing data and information
      • Experience and interpret the local environment.
      • Compare observations with predictions through discussion.
      • Identify simple patterns and connections.
    • Applying and innovating
      • Transfer and apply learning to new situations.
    • Communicating
      • Communicate observations and ideas using oral or written language, drawing, or role-play.

    English Language Arts (1)

    • Comprehend and connect (reading, listening, viewing)
      • Use sources of information and prior knowledge to make meaning.
      • Use developmentally appropriate reading, listening, and viewing strategies to make meaning.

    Physical and Health Education (1)

    • Physical literacy
      • Develop and demonstrate a variety of fundamental movement skills in a variety of physical activities and environments.
    • Healthy and active living
      • Participate daily in physical activity at moderate to vigorous intensity levels.
    Grade 4 - Mule Deer Sensing and Responding

    Available starting March 25, 2024.

    Being a deer is hard work!

    Students will use the common mule deer as a template for understanding how animals, plants, and other living things sense and respond to the world around them. They will explore how the mule deer’s oversized ears, giant eyes, and impressive nose help them to stay one step ahead of predators. They’ll also test their own senses against the elements to see if they could survive as a mule deer! Once they have a base level understanding, students will explore Yukon Wildlife Preserve to see how other living things differ from the mule deer and from the students themselves, and how much we have in common.

     

    Students will:

    1. Get up close and personal with mule deer.
    2. Compare and contrast mule deer senses with their own senses through various games and activities.
    3. Compare and contrast sensing and responding abilities across various Yukon living things.

     

    Curriculum Connections

    Items indicated in bold font are key focuses of this program.

     

    Big Ideas

    Science (4) 

    • All living things sense and respond to their environment.

    Content 

    Science (4) 

    • Sensing and responding (humans, other animals, plants). 
    • Local changes caused by Earth’s axis, rotation, and orbit.

    English Language Arts (4)

    • Strategies and processes (reading strategies, oral language strategies, metacognitive strategies, writing processes)

    Physical and Health Education (4)

    • Proper technique for fundamental movement skills, including non-locomotor, locomotor, and manipulative skills.
    • How to participate in different types of physical activities, including individual and dual activities, rhythmic activities, and games.

     

    Core Competencies

    Science (4) 

    • Questioning and predicting
      • Demonstrate curiosity about the natural world.
      • Make predictions based on prior knowledge.
    • Planning and conducting
      • Suggest ways to plan and conduct an inquiry to find answers to their questions.
      • Consider ethical responsibilities when deciding how to conduct an experiment.
      • Make observations about living and non-living things in the local environment.
      • Collect simple data.
    • Processing and analyzing data and information
      • Experience and interpret the local environment.
      • Use tables, simple bar graphs, or other formats  to represent data and show simple patterns and trends.
      • Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings.
    • Evaluating
      • Make simple inferences based on their results and prior knowledge
      • Reflect on whether an investigation was a fair test
      • Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of evidence
      • Identify some simple environmental implications of their and others’ actions
    • Applying and innovating
      • Transfer and apply learning to new situations.

    Physical and Health Education (4)

    • Physical literacy
      • Apply a variety of movement concepts and strategies in different physical activities.
      • Develop and demonstrate safety, fair play, and leadership in physical activities.
    • Healthy and active living
      • Participate daily in physical activity at moderate to vigorous intensity levels.
    Grade 7 - Natural Selection of Caribou

    Available starting April 29, 2024.

    How did caribou become caribou?

    Evolution by natural selection can be a challenging concept for students to grasp! In this program, students see the results of natural selection in modern caribou and work with staff to evolve their own caribou to explore how the needs of the animal influence its evolution.

    Students will:

    1. Use caribou as a framework to understand the principles of evolution by natural selection.
    2. Understand how survival needs impact natural selection.

     

    Curriculum Connections

    Items indicated in bold font are key focuses of this program.

     

    Big Ideas

    Science (7)

    • Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.

    Content

    Science (7)

    • Organisms have evolved over time.
    • Survival needs.
    • Natural selection.

    Mathematics (7)

    • Experimental probability with two independent events.

     

    Core Competencies

    Science (7)

    • Questioning and predicting
      • Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest.
      • Make observations aimed at identifying their own questions about the natural world.
      • Identify a question to answer or a problem to solve through scientific inquiry.
      • Formulate alternative “If…then…” hypotheses based on their questions.
      • Make predictions about the findings of their inquiry.
    • Planning and conducting
      • Observe, measure, and record data (qualitative and quantitative), using equipment, including digital technologies, with accuracy and precision.
    • Processing and analyzing data and information
      • Experience and interpret the local environment.
      • Seek patterns and connections in data from their own investigations and secondary sources.
      • Use scientific understandings to identify relationships and draw conclusions.

    Mathematics (7)

    • Reasoning and analyzing
      • Use logic and patterns to solve puzzles and play games.
      • Use reasoning and logic to explore, analyze, and apply mathematical ideas.
    • Understanding and solving
      • Apply multiple strategies to solve problems in both abstract and contextualized situations.
      • Develop, demonstrate, and apply mathematical understanding through play, inquiry, and problem solving.
      • Engage in problem-solving experiences that are connected to place, story, cultural practices, and perspectives relevant to local First Peoples communities, the local community, and other cultures.
    • Communicating and representing
      • Use mathematical vocabulary and language to contribute to mathematical discussions.
      • Explain and justify mathematical ideas and decisions.
    • Connecting and reflecting
      • Reflect on mathematical thinking.
      • Connect mathematical concepts to each other and to other areas and personal interests.
    Yukon Wildlife Preserve
    Box 20191
    Whitehorse, Yukon
    Y1A 7A2

    Proud member of:

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    With the support of:

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