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Caritas Creek Virtual Retreat Program

Lesson 1

New Discoveries

"Opening our Minds and Hearts to the Miracle of God’s Creation"

In this engaging lesson, students will follow our enthusiastic staff as they explore the redwood forest learning how to make new discoveries by making deep observations, asking questions and making connections. Our Virtual Retreat Facilitator will use video clips of our Naturalists teaching in the forest in conjunction with other educational resources to keep students engaged and excited about learning. Students will explore the redwood forest ecosystem, discovering macroinvertebrates and other organisms. They will apply the I Notice, I Wonder, It Reminds Me of Exploration Routine to organisms they observe and fill out a virtual worksheet deepening their understanding of how to apply this new tool. The Virtual Retreat Facilitator will introduce Pope Francis’ Encyclicals, Laudato Si and Fratelli tutti and relate the messages to the theme of the lesson, “New Discoveries-Opening our Minds and Hearts to the Miracle of God’s Creation”. 


Next Generation Science Standards


Structure and Function

Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems




Asking Questions Students also build skills foundational to all 8 science practices


Students will... 

  • Understand what an Encyclical is and learn the general messages conveyed in Pope St. Francis’ Encyclicals, Laudato si’, mi’ Signore” Fratelli tutti.
  • Explore the concept of “seeing God in all things” as they investigate the redwood forest. 
  • Increase curiosity about and virtually engage with aspects of the natural world. 
  • Make observations, ask questions, and relate findings to past experiences. 
  • Learn that descriptive observations are distinct from statements of opinion or identification. 
  • Make explanations based on evidence; Use the crosscutting concept of Patterns to focus observations; Focus on the skill of asking questions and identifying scientific questions; Use the routine as a tool for reflection and social emotional learning.

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