Lessons

Lessons and other resources for learning to care about, understand and act for the environment

LESSON LIBRARY

  1. Environmental Principles
  2. Systems and Processes of Nature
  3. Systems and Processes of Society
  4. Environments and Resources
  5. Environmental Problems
  6. Investigating and Understanding Environmental Problems
  7. Solving Environmental Problems
  8. Taking Action

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Header Picture Captions: Left to Right: Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial S.P. Nature Detectives, Summer 2010; Academie Lafayette, Kansas City, Stream Class; Sustain Mizzou Green Team recycling at an MU home football game, Columbia. If you have pictures of your students learning aout or working in the environment (with permissions) send them to weaverjc@missouri.edu and we will post them.

Lessons about Organisms

Age/Grade Levels

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Lessons - stand alone activities with specific learning objectives

Life Cycle Time. EE. Students compare times it takes different kinds of plants or animals to complete life cycles. New York Agriculture in the Classroom.

Lesson Plans for the Lorax. EE. this site has several Lorax related activities - Barbaloot Suits: Protecting Diversity, About Protecting the Earth, The Lorax Explorations, Recycling, The Air We Have Around Us, Deforestation. Lesson Planet

Fireflies. EE. Using the book Fireflies in the Night, by Judy Hawes, discuss the information, have the students examine different light sources to the fireflies' lights, draw or color fireflies, and other activities. New York Agriculture in the Classroom

Germination. EE. Several seed actitivities, including germination. New York Agriculture in the Classroom

Grassy Initials. EE. Students germinate their initials in grass seed on a sponge, learn the conditions required for germination and develop manual dexterity. New York Agriculture in the Classroom

Pumpkin Patch. EE. Pumpkin words, pumpkin foods, pumpkin stories. New York Agriculture in the Classroom

Butterflies. EE. Life cycles, differences between moths and butterflies and moth and butterfly vocabulary. New York Agriculture in the Classroom

Structure and Symmetry in Evergreens. EE. Students measure and cut out triangles and use them to create a model of an evergreen tree. New York Agriculture in the Classroom

Arthropod Anatomy. EE. Students construct different kinds of arthropods out of various art materials and learn how the number of legs and body parts tell what kind of arthropod you have. New York Agriculture in the Classroom

Animals and Engineering. UE Students are introduced to the classification of animals and animal interactions. Students also learn why engineers need to know about animals and how they use that knowledge to design technologies that help other animals and/or humans. This lesson is part of a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems. From TeachEngineering - http://www.teachengineering.org

A Bug's Life. UE. This lesson plan teaches students about insect metamorphosis by having the students play a game. Students will read the Insect Facts and then determine which phase of metamorphosis matches with each individual insect and its traits. Blackline masters of all worksheets for the game are included and are not difficult to assemble for instruction. Utah Agriculture in the Classroom

The Water Down Under. UE. Detective Michelle Tuesday who specializes in water mysteries. Hard copies are available on a first come first serve basis. The Water Down Under is about the importance of water for amphibians. Monitor Water Organization

Helpful Habitats. UE. Students will learn about the role of plants in provide habitats for animals. Discovery Education

Cleaning Up with Decomposers. UE Students investigate decomposers and the role of decomposers in maintaining the flow of nutrients in an environment. Students also learn how engineers use decomposers to help clean up wastes in a process known as bioremediation. This lesson concludes a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems.From TeachEngineering - http://www.teachengineering.org

Dirty Decomposers. MS. Students design and conduct experiments to determine what environmental factors favor decomposition by soil microbes. They use chunks of carrots for the materials to be decomposed, and their experiments are carried out in plastic bags filled with dirt. Every few days students remove the carrots from the dirt and weigh them. Depending on the experimental conditions, after a few weeks most of the carrots will have decomposed completely.From TeachEngineering - http://www.teachengineering.org

Classification of Vertebrates - MS. Students brainstorm a list of animals and then categorize by vertebrate class. Students learn (or review) vertebrate classes. St. Louis Zoo.

Biodiversity by the Numbers - MS. This lesson uses math skills to analyze data about numbers of species in the wild and at the St. Louis Zoo. Students are given step-by-step instructions about how to find percentages using available data. Students use a 100-square grid to look at proportions and relationships in a visual way. They are asked to make predictions about the data and answer questions using the data and their own ideas. St. Louis Zoo.

Grevy's Zebra Grant Request Webquest. MS. Students perform a webquest to gather information about Grevy's zebras and conservation. The scenario: they are applying for a research grant from the Lotzamoni family. The family is well known for its support of conservation programs. The mission is to create a PowerPoint presentation about Grevy's zebras that will convince the family that Grevy's zebra conservation is necessary. St. Louis Zoo

Eco-tour of Madagascar Webquest. MS. Students perform a webquest to gather information about Madagascar and lemur conservation. Their task is to design an eco-tour for tourists who want to learn more about conservaiton on the island of Madagascar. St. Louis Zoo.

Introduction to Natural Selection: Darwin & Lamarck. MS. In this activity students will read two theories about how species change over time. Then they will participate in an activity that requires them to apply their knowledge. Students will arrange sets of pictures in a way that demonstrates the two different theories. (evolution is important because it is a way that species respond to pressure created by human actitivies). St. Louis Zoo.

The Farmer and Her Flies: A Study in Natural Selection. MS. Students will investigate the process of natural selection through an inquiry activity. Based on the response of fly populations to pesticide use. St. Louis Zoo

The Otter Game. MS. The simulation game teaches the player(s) about factors affecting the survival of river otters. It introduces the idea of carrying capacity or howmany animlas an ecosystem can support. It also examines the issues of overpopulation, pollution and controlled trapping or hunting as a means of managing population size. St. Louis Zoo.

Copycat Engineers. MS This lesson introduces students to the idea of biomimicry — or looking to nature for engineering ideas. Biomimicry involves solving human problems by mimicking natural solutions, and it works well because the solutions exist naturally. There are numerous examples of useful applications of biomimicry, and in this lesson we look at a few fun examples. From TeachEngineering - http://www.teachengineering.org

Biomimicry and Sustainable Design-Nature is an Engineering Marvel. HS This lesson introduces students to the concepts of biomicry and sustainable design. Countless examples, when introduced to the student, illustrate the wisdom of nature in the means by which organisms are adapted (to name only a few) in their body style, physiological processes, water conservation, thermal radiation, and mutualistic relationships to assure their species continuing perpetuation within their environment and its unique limiting factors. In large measure, all of these adaptations result in the conservation of energy and reduction of waste. These two variables are of immeasurable interest to design engineers and manufacturers. From TeachEngineering - http://www.teachengineering.org

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Curriculum - multiple, connected and sequenced activities

Growing Up WILD: Exploring Nature with Young Children, a multi-award-winning early childhood activity guide and training program for building school readiness skills through nature exploration.

Buzz Into Action, The Insect Curriculum Guide for Grades K–4. EE, UE. This cross-disciplinary guide introduces children to the joy of insects through investigations that involve scientific inquiry and knowledge building rather than memorization. You can put the 20 hands-on lessons to work individually or as a curriculum, in the field or in the classroom. NSTA Member Price: $19.16 Nonmember Price: $23.95.

Connecting With Nature: A Naturalist's Perspective Grades K–12. EE, UE, MS, HS. Connecting With Nature offers advice on performing accurate observations and field reports and understanding natural selection, along with an array of activities to capture the attention of students of all ages—from imitating animal sounds, to tracking animals, to creating a school garden, to photographing birds.NSTA Member Price: $19.96 Nonmember Price: $24.95

Bringing Outdoor Science In, Thrifty Classroom Lessons, Grades K–8. EE, UE, MS. Clearly organized and easy to use, this helpful guide contains more than 50 science lessons. All lessons include objectives, materials lists, procedures, reproducible data sheets, ideas for adapting to different grade levels, and much more.Introduce students to everything from bug zoos to the Sun and stars without ever needing to put on a jacket. NSTA Member Price: $20.76 Nonmember Price: $25.95.

The North American Conservation Education Strategy Tool Kit for Achieving Excellence. HS. The new publications include Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills, Landscape Investigations Guidelines, Schoolyard Biodiversity Investigations Educator Guide, Project-Based Learning Model, Outdoor Skills Education Handbook, and Sustainable Tomorrow: Applying Systems Thinking to Environmental Education Curricula. Free Download.

Growing Up WILD curriculum for 3 to 7 years. PK, EE. Recommended by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and correlated to the Head Start Domains and NAEYC Standards, Growing Up WILD provides a consistent, tested, developmentally appropriate, interdisciplinary and attractive teaching tool for educators encouraging nature exploration, outside play, and scientific inquiry among young learners ages 3-7. With 27 easy-to-use activities which include crafts, art projects, music, conservation activities, and reading, written by educators and wildlife professionals and reviewed by experts in early childhood education, Growing Up WILD provides early childhood educators with the knowledge and skills to comfortably lead explorations with young children on various topics and subject areas, particularly in math and science. Contact Missouri's WILD Coordinator: Briedi Scott for information on setting up a workshop http://www.projectwild.org/GrowingUpWILD/Missouri.htm

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Books - and other readings

Bearly There - Bear-ly There is a fascinating book for kids about how to react constructively when a bear moves into your back yard. Filled will beautiful paintings/illustrations of bear and other creatures of northern woods in their natural settings, Bear-ly There is a book infused with a love of nature that is communicated directly to its young readers, through both the written word and visual appeal.

Everybody's Somebody's Lunch - This new story puts predators in an entirely new light as a sensitive young girl, shocked and confused by the death of her cat, learns the roles that predator and prey play in the balance of nature. Gently and gradually, she comes to understand why some animals kill and eat other animals in order to live. It is one of nature's most exciting and important lessons.

Just for Elephants - Most elephants in America live in circuses and zoos, and their lives are very different from what they would be in the wild. But there's a very special place in Tennessee called the Elephant Sanctuary, where elephants can finally have the freedom to roam and have elephant friends.

Saving Birds - This new book focuses on the experiences and efforts of grownups and children, scientists and volunteers working to save birds in very different corners of the world. Sometimes political and economic realities push their way into the picture, and at other times the challenges are more physical: scaling treacherous cliffs or braving rough seas to do the work that needs to be done to save birds. But as we learn about each bird and its problems, we see how our heroes use their imaginations to "think outside the box," coming up with unconventional and unusual methods-that work!

Sea Soup: Phytoplankton and Zooplankton (2 vols.) - A teaspoon of sea water can hold a soupy serving of a million phytoplankton and zooplankton! These tiny floating plants and animals come in thousands of amazing variations. Invisible to the naked eye, phytoplankton are the source of our atmosphere, our climate, our ocean food chain, much of our oil supply, and more. They're also food for zooplankton, tiny animals that often look like weird life forms from outer space.

 

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Games - outdoor, on-line, board, etc.

Game Aps from Ranger Rick and the National Wildlife Federation-" Raiders of the Lost Ardvark" (Join Ranger Rick the raccoon on a wild ride through Africa in this thrilling detective game that tests your sleuthing skills. For Ages 7 and up.$1.99) "Click the Birdie" (Score points, discover cool bird facts, and have tons of fun in Ranger Rick's adventure-packed app. Perfect for ages 7 and up. $1.99) "What Did Snakey Eat?" (Gulp! Sammy the Skunk's friend Snakey has swallowed something he shouldn't have. Match the shape in Snakey's belly! Perfect for ages 2 to 5. $0.99)

Survival, An Endangered Animal Game from ARKive- An online game. Play alone, with friends or family to reveal the identities of 9 of the world’s most endangered animals. The longer you survive, the more stars you earn. Stars unlock hidden photos and release new characters. Download for Free.

Fish Advisory Activity Book PreK to UE - Published by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. An explanation of mercury accumulation, word game, fish maze, fish sudoku, fish crossword and links to other resources for kids and parents

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Videos - short, topical on-line videos

 

 

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Movies - feature length movies and documentaries

To the Arctic 3D - An IMAX documentary that follows a mother polar bear and her two cubs.

Chimpanzee - This documentary about Chimps explores the struggle for survival of a troop from the perspective of young Oscar. Feeding, Play, Tool Use, Conflict, Death, Adoption (SPOILER ALERT - mom dies, but another chimp steps in and adopts Oscar)

Environmental Popcorn - Blogger Maddie Perlman-Gable posts her list of best environmental movies ever in the following categories: Best Nature Empowerment Film - The Happening (2008). Best Use of 80's Pop Stars to Demonstrate Vigilante Environmentalists: Mega Python vs Gatoroid (2011). Best Animated Film: Princess Monomoke (1997). Best Monster Created by Dumping Formaldehyde Down the Sink - The Host (2006) (Korean).

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Stewardship Activities

Migratory Dragonfly Partnership (Citizen Science)- This is a citizen science site that allows you to submit dragonfly migration observations.

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Links to regional, state, national and international organizations

Agriculture and Environment Lesson Plans. HS, CA. This page provides links tolesson plans, classroom projects and teaching activities for: Agriculture, Aquaculture, Forestry, Animal Science, Environment, Food Science/Culinary Arts, Horticulture, Floriculture, and Landscaping. Vocational Information Center, www.khake.com

 

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

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