Digital, Investigative, & Guided (DIG) Experience

2020-2021 Programming Update

Support students’ remote learning and get hands-on with Oxbow’s new DIG Experiences! We’ve taken the highlights of Oxbow’s popular “Farmer in the Classroom” program and adapted them to meet the needs of a virtual classroom environment. Are you ready to dig in?

Invite experiential learning into your virtual classrooms by practicing your exploration skills! Investigate and care for our troupe of traveling worms*, dissect a seed, or investigate flower anatomy, all from the safety of your home or classrooms and with the guidance of Oxbow’s skilled Farmer Educators!

This year’s programming options include:

Or request a custom program of your own by emailing education@oxbow.org

* the worms lesson works best with students in-person and an Oxbow farmer on your virtual platform or smart screen in front of the whole classroom. 

Learn more about each program’s content and specifications below!

Who

A preschool-5th grade school class, homeschool group, or COVID Learning Pod

When

  • January through early June 2021**
  • Monday-Friday
  • Approx 60 minutes in length (program length can be adapted, just let us know!)

Materials

DIG experiences involve hands-on materials. Educator will coordinate with Oxbow to arrange for pickup or dropoff of the worms (or source red-wigglers of your own for a lower program cost). The Pollination and Seeds programs require sourcing a few basic supplies. We’ll provide guidance!

Cost

  • Both the Seeds and Me and The Buzz on Pollination programs are recommended $75/program.
  • Wonder Worms! is recommended $125/program since it requires worm transportation. (Cost is flexible if worms can be sourced elsewhere).

Click to View Calendar & Register

**Note about Spring 2021: DIG Experiences are available by request through the remainder of the ’20-’21 school year — to request a date, contact OxEd at education@oxbow.org.

If interested in multiple lessons within a single day, reach out to OxEd staff prior to registration. Please also contact us with a preferred date if the available dates do not work for your group; we’ll do our best to accommodate.

Scholarships: If program costs pose a hardship, please contact us at education@oxbow.org for scholarship information. Scholarships are based on schools’ free and reduced lunch rates.


Topics and Recommended Grade Levels

Programs are adapted to each grade level.

We deliver a tub of energetic Oxbow worms to your school, and you’ll connect with an Oxbow farmer on your virtual platform or smart screen in front of the whole classroom. With a small portion of worms & compost on their desk, students will review and discuss the concept of Habitat through a trivia game. Next, they will get to practice holding this important decomposer, making observations about its anatomy and how it interacts with the world. This works best if students are in-person at school, with our Oxbow Educator on-screen to guide you through your investigation.

Worms can be delivered in the Seattle-area and Snoqualmie Valley. If you are outside these areas, please contact Oxbow Education.

Teachers/Educators: You will need to coordinate with Oxbow to arrange pick up or drop off of the worms (or source red-wigglers of your own for a lower program cost). We’ll also ask for a teacher/educator in the classroom to portion out a handful of worms to each student’s paper plate, along with popsicle sticks for those who don’t feel comfortable touching the worms.

During the program, we will look to teachers/educators to assist the Oxbow Farmers in calling on students with questions. Please also share whatever classroom expectations and culture your class follows prior to or at the beginning of the lesson! Every class is unique, and we are honored to be a guest in your spaces.

Note: We do not recommend releasing our travelling red wriggler worms out in nature! They can outcompete other organisms in nature. These are home, compost, or class-only worms!

Prep/ Materials Needed:

  • pen/pencil
  • paper
  • popsicle stick
  • worm(s)
  • a small bit of soil or compost
  • paper plate

If students are participating in this lesson at home, they will need to allow time (and arrange adequate adult supervision) to do a worm search in their yard or a park nearby.

This lesson can support:

  • K-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
  • K-ESS2-2 Earth’s Systems: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.

Cross-cutting Concepts: Structure and Function

Suggested Grade Levels: PreK to 2nd grades (this is recommended for groups that are in-person at school, but doing a “worm search” at home, could make it feasible with distance learners.

Expansion/Enrichment Opportunities:
Build a Worm Bin at Home by Oxbow Education
Yucky Worms by Vivian French

Cost: $125

Contact education@oxbow.org to discuss logistics of drop-off and pick-up of our “traveling worms”
Registration must take place at least one week prior to the virtual program.

Do you know what’s in a seed? Let’s find out! We will explore familiar seeds, examine what conditions they need to germinate, and even dissect a seed to discover its secrets of survival!

Teachers/Educators: You must purchase your own seeds for this lesson. We recommend large dry lima beans; kidney or pinto beans could also work, but note that they are much smaller. (Beans must be soaked overnight in order to be dissected).

During the program, we will look to teachers/educators to monitor muting/unmuting students, and assist the Oxbow Farmers in calling on students with questions. Please also share whatever virtual classroom expectations and culture your class follows prior to or at the beginning of the lesson! Every class is unique, and we are honored to be a guest in your spaces.

Prep/ Materials needed:

  • pen/pencil
  • paper
  • soaked beans

Have students soak bean(s) for at least 12 hours in a jar of water prior to the lesson. Each student should get at least one bean.

This lesson can support:

  • K-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
  • 2-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes: Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Cross-cutting Concepts:

  • Cause and effect
  • Structure and function

Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs):

  • Ask Questions
  • Planning and Carrying out Investigations
  • Arguing from Evidence
  • Constructing Explanations.

Suggested Grade Levels: PreK to 5th 

Expansion/Enrichment Opportunities:
A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston
How Does a Seed Become a Plant? By Sci Show Kids
Growing Kidney Bean Time Lapse
What is Seed Germination? by Peekaboo Kidz

Cost: $75/lesson

Animals need plants to survive, but do plants need animals? Explore the magic of pollination through a hands-on exploration of flower anatomy and learn the role of pollinators in growing the fruits we know and love!

Teachers/Educators: You must purchase your own flowers for this lesson. We recommend any grocery-store flowers with distinct plant parts, like alstroemerias (NOTICE: Some flowers, including alstroemerias, are toxic to kids and pets if ingested. Please ensure supervision for younger students and remind students and caregivers to keep the flowers away from their pets.) 

We will also look to teachers/educators to monitor muting/unmuting students, and assist the Oxbow Farmers in calling on students with questions. Please also share whatever virtual classroom expectations and culture your class follows prior to or at the beginning of the lesson! Every class is unique, and we are honored to be a guest in your spaces.

Materials needed:

  • pen/pencil
  • paper
  • one flower/student

 This lesson can support:

  • K-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
  • 2-LS2- 2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamic: Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

Cross-cutting Concepts:

  • Structure and function
  • Systems and system models

Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs):

  • Asking Questions
  • Defining Problems
  • Developing and Using Models

Suggested Grade Levels: 1st to 4th 

Expansion/Enrichment Opportunities:
Flowers are Calling by Rita Gray 
The Reason for a Flower by Ruth Heller
Parts of a Flower and Pollination by Peekaboo Kidz
Pollinator Activity Book by United States Department of Agriculture
Power of Flowers Lesson Plan K-5th by Mystery Science 
“Bite Size” Plant Reproduction by BBC

Cost: $75/lesson

Oxbow Education would love to hear from you with custom program requests! Please allow adequate time (two weeks or so) before your requested program date and email education@oxbow.org with your ideas!

Other Programs Might Include…

  • Apple Story Time
  • Nature Journaling
  • Team Building & Leadership
  • Crop Planning