Biscayne National Park offers two backpacks filled with school lessons, one for grades K-3 and one for grades 4-6. Each is filled with lessons and associated materials. The materials in the packs are designed for up to 25 students. If the student number exceeds 25, activities may be done in groups.
A form of ID is needed to check out a pack. School packs are available for check out at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM and must be returned by 4:00 PM. Packs must stay in the Convoy Point area. They may be reserved (optional) by calling the Education Coordinator at 305.230.1144 ext 3037.
Hints on how to use the School Discovery Packs:
- Become familiar with the contents of the pack, and share them with the leaders in your group. Review the activities. A copy of each activity can be found at our curriculum materials web page. Each activity bag is color-coded to make it easy to find its corresponding written lesson plan provided on the binder ring. Notice that the backpack contains other supplies that will be helpful or necessary when conducting the activities, such as binoculars, ID checklists, discovery scopes, handheld lenses, colored pencils, etc.
- Begin by watching the film in the auditorium and spend some time in the museum at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. Pay close attention to the four ecosystems that you will be traveling through: the mangrove shoreline, the shallow bay, the keys, and the coral reef. Notice that the color of the floor in the museum imitates the color of the water as you move from the shallows to the deeper water of the reef. Become familiar with the four kinds of mangrove trees. This information will be helpful in other activities.
- Spend time learning about the human history of Biscayne National Park. Examine items on the touch table in the Visitor Center and talk about what their possible uses. Imagine what life was like long ago before all of our modern conveniences.
- Before the end of your time here, take a few moments to sit quietly. After a minute or two have your students talk about their experience at the Park and what they will do in the future to protect natural spaces.
The Discovery Packs were made possible through a National Park Foundation grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation and with the help of the Everglades Association.