The Mountain Lab School
3rd Grade & Above Class Options
All classes, unless otherwise noted, are designed to fill a 2-hour time block. Modifications can be made to shorten classes for some grade levels.
ANIMAL TRACKING: This class introduces students to the practice of animal tracking. Starting indoors, the instructor will use a Power Point Presentation to display key concepts related to animal tracking such as common animal signs, classifying tracks and safety concerns. Before heading into the field, students will participate in a hands-on activity investigating various pelts, tracks and scat of common Colorado wildlife. Students will bring all these combined skills together as they head outside as a group observing and collecting data on animal tracks and other common animal signs.
ANIMAL HABITATS: Through a variety of hands-on activities and games, students will learn how the components of an animal’s habitat affect its ability to survive. Students will have the chance to become animals in search of food, water and shelter while competing with others. Through these activities, the concepts of carrying capacity and limiting factors will be highlighted. The class will end with students considering how increasing human development affects a specific animal’s habitat and what actions can be taken to preserve natural habitat areas for our Colorado wildlife.
INTRO TO ARCHERY: This class introduces the sport of archery. Students will learn the different parts of the equipment, how to properly handle a bow and arrow, and proper shooting technique, which will lead to successful shooting. After each round of practice, students will record data and note areas for improvement in following rounds. The class will end with a team challenge where students will put to practice their new skills and knowledge.
CLIMBING: This class introduces students to the sport of rock climbing using IdRaHaJe’s 45 foot climbing tower or indoor Rock Barn. Students will be instructed on the various safety systems, climbing equipment, technique and terminology used by rock climbers all over the world. Opportunities to climb various routes as well as practice climbing techniques and learn basic knots will be provided to students during this class.
EROSION: This class introduces students to erosion, weathering, and deposition. Starting indoors, the instructor will use a Power Point Presentation and various activities to teach key concepts and terms related to erosion. Then, the class will head outside to find areas and examples of erosion and discuss causes. Finally, students will use their knowledge of erosion control to construct a model of a road and design a system to protect it from washing away in a rainstorm.
GEOLOGY OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN MOUNTAINS: Students will dig deeper into the Rocky Mountains with a hands-on experience collecting data and classifying common Colorado rocks and minerals. Through participating in a short hike, students will investigate and use critical thinking skills to make observations on geologic features surrounding them. Additionally, each student will get a chance to take home a memorable souvenir from this class.
HORSEMANSHIP: This class will be broken into two portions: a mountain trail ride on horseback and an arena session. During the trail ride, students will learn basic rein control and be paired with a horse suited for their comfort level. The trail ride typically takes 35-40 minutes to complete. The arena session will include instruction on the following concepts: grooming, saddling, parts of a horse and riding activities focused on horse control. Long pants and closed toed shoes are required for this class. IdRaHaJe provides and requires helmets for each rider. This class is offered on a limited basis and requires an extra fee.
INITIATIVE GAMES (Social Emotional Learning Games): This class serves as a significant opportunity for students to develop deeper bonds with their classmates. Through a variety of games and unique activities, students will interact closely with each other as they communicate effectively, solve problems, and begin to build trust. The instructor will facilitate the students’ experience as they take initiative to work as a team. After major activities, the instructor will help the students to process and transfer their learning to larger contexts within and beyond the Mountain Lab School Experience.
NATURE HIKE: While hiking along Camp’s various trails, students will be introduced to common trees, plants, wildlife and geologic features. Along with learning to identify various species, students will discuss the interrelationships of our unique mountain ecology. This active class will involve approximately 90 minutes of hiking over mountainous terrain and a 30-minute lesson introducing students to field guides and nature journaling.
NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY: This class brings technology and nature together. Using a Power Point Presentation inside, the instructor will define nature photography and provide tips for using cameras and taking photos. Students will then go outside and complete a scavenger hunt looking for objects in nature to photograph. Photographs will be taken with iPads. The class will end with students sharing and critiquing images taken.
PIONEER STUDIES: Students travel back in time to the days of the pioneers, covered wagons, and Early Americans in this unique class. Taught in an authentic pioneer cabin filled with antiques, students will learn about the daily life of a pioneer child through various activities. After making journey cake in a wood burning cook stove, students will also work together to make homemade butter, complete homeschool lessons with slate boards and play pioneer games.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN PREDATORS: Students will be involved in learning about the main predators of our Rocky Mountains, and specifically those which make IdRaHaJe “home.” This multi-sensory class will not only equip students with unique information about each predators’ adaptations but will also teach students how to live with wildlife.
SURVIVAL SKILLS-SHELTER BUILDING: Whether preparing to go on a simple hike, an overnight camping trip or for the possibility of a natural disaster, there are basic survival skills that everyone should possess. This class exposes students to the necessary steps in preparing and planning for a survival situation. Students also learn and practice the important skill of “tarp-style” shelter building.