Lessons & Tours

Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center provides environmental lessons and programs to schools and groups of all ages. The unique lessons and learning experiences can be utilized by schools and community groups. Use the search below to find lessons and tours that may be of interest to your group. Please use the contact information provided with the lesson to inquire and schedule.

Group size: Lessons are designed for groups of 10 to 30 students. Groups larger than 30 students will require multiple time slots. For field trips, we require at least one chaperone for every ten students.

Reservation window: Lessons are booked on a first come, first served basis dependent on staff availability. Requests at least 2 weeks in advance are more likely to be filled.

Field trip times: Lessons are typically scheduled for one hour but may be customized as needed.

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Steps to schedule a field trip with us:

1. Choose your lesson from the options listed below. (JHFLC = Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center; Your Place = outreach to your school)

2. Click on the lesson title to go to a Microsoft Bookings page to request a time for your lesson. Note: multiple lessons and tours can be requested in one visit. Most lessons and tours are one hour in length.

3. Submit your request with your contact information, the group size and grade, specific lesson requested, and any other details you’d like to share.

You’ll hear from Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center staff within a few days. Field trips can be customized to meet your needs. We look forward to your visit – thank you for your interest!

Lessons

Animal Adaptations Students will learn how different animals adapt to best suit their unique habitats and environments. We will compare and contrast different adaptations and their usage. JHFLC

Birding in the Foothills Students will become birding aficionados through guided learning about common local birds that are year-round residents, as well as migratory species. Through hands-on activities and birding hikes, students can become experts on Boise birds. JHFLC

Birds of Prey Supplemental field trip to the Life Science Unit. Students will learn about the lifecycle and characteristics of an owl. They will learn about inherited and learned traits that help all birds of prey survive. JHFLC

Boise Foothills Food Chains Students learn how organisms interact to form a community and how energy moves through the system starting with the all-important Sun. Using our foothills plants and animals, students will create food chains and understand the interdependence inherent in a food web. They will understand the cycling of energy and nutrients and the role of producers, consumers and decomposers in the process. JHFLC

Butterfly and Pollinator Science Supplemental field trip to the Life Science Unit. Students will learn about the importance of pollinators and their internal and external functions. We will also follow how plants get the materials they need for growth and the connection between plants and pollinators. JHFLC or Your Place 

Ecology Stories, Crafts and Hikes Students will be read a story relating to the natural resources found in Boise. They will then get to do an associated craft and do a Rainbow Hike. JHFLC or Your Place

Ecology Hike Explore the two ecosystems found at the Boise Foothills Learning Center: Sagebrush Steppe and Riparian. Take a guided hike to learn about common animals and plants as well as why there may be different organisms depending upon the ecosystem. Through interactive activities, identify the needs of organisms and how they adapt to their ecosystem. JHFLC

Fire Ecology Students will understand the effects wildfire can have on the local ecosystem and how fire has shaped our Idaho landscape. Students will be introduced to the fire triangle, fire ecology in both forest and sagebrush-steppe ecosystems, and human influences on fire in the West. Through interactive activities and a hike, students will explore fire’s role in nature, noxious weed invasion and the challenges of the urban/wild land interface in our Boise foothills. JHFLC

Geology in the Classroom Students will see real examples of how the landscape is affected by water, ice, and wind over time. Through stations, we will get to experience erosion, weathering, and deposition. JHFLC or Your Place 

Geology in the Foothills Students will see real examples of how the landscape is affected by water, ice, and wind over time. Through stations, we will get to experience erosion, weathering, and deposition. (See pre/post lesson Geology in Action to extend learning) JHFLC

Junior Weed Warriors Students will work together to restore habitats within the Foothills Learning Center grounds. Participation can be done on a schedule that works for you! Whether its once-a-year visits or quarterly visits, we want to encourage service-learning and stewardship from an early age! Ask us how to get involved! JHFLC

Papermaking Students compare water and energy usage in recycled paper production vs. paper pulp produced directly from trees. Students will understand the papermaking process and make their own handmade recycled paper; a simple and fun way to connect students to the importance and practicality of conservation! This is a great companion lesson to recycling. JHFLC or Your Place

Plants and Trees of the Foothills Students will explore the variety of plant life found in the foothills including everything from wildflowers to sagebrush and cottonwood trees to native grasses. Students will make a field journal and collect samples to identify common plant species. Older students may conduct a plant survey, where they assess invasive and native plant species in the foothills as well as the implications of invasive species spread. JHFLC

Recycling and Stewardship Students learn the importance of “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Rethink” alternatives to throwing things away. We will define hazardous waste and talk about where these materials need to go. Students will gain an understanding of both the impact humans have on the environment, and the difference we can each make in taking care of the Earth. Available for grades PreK-8th. JHFLC or Your Place

Snow School Pre-Lesson: Winter Wildlife Adaptations Students will learn about different strategies that Idaho wildlife use to adjust to winter—hibernation, migration, acclimation and adaptation—and the importance of our open space and foothills habitat to winter wildlife. This lesson also emphasizes the importance of Leave No Tracewhen visiting Winter wildland areas and incorporates an experiment comparing the insulation effectiveness of materials! This lesson is offered as a pre-lesson for classes going up to the Bogus Basin Snow School. JHFLC or Your Place

Wildlife of the Foothills: Mammals Students will learn about common mammals found in the foothills. They will explore adaptations specific to mammals and identify common Boise mammals. JHFLC or Your Place 

Wildlife of the Foothills: Reptiles & Amphibians Supplemental field trip to the Life Science Unit. Students will learn about the internal and external structures of Reptiles and Amphibians that function to support survival, growth, behavior and reproduction. JHFLC

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