National Wildlife Week 2015 Educator Resources

Living with Wildlife Lesson Plans

Learning about wildlife helps you appreciate Living with Wildlife. We don’t all see the same plants and animals when we walk outside every day, but we are all connected to our habitats in similar ways. The lesson plans and activities below cover topics that relate to habitat and the different kinds of wildlife you may encounter across some of our nation’s many diverse areas.

Understanding Habitats

  • Habitat Web (Grades K-6): Participants explore the web of connections among living and non-living things.
  • Habitat for Sale (Grades K-8): Students write imaginative classified ads about habitats and then play a game to match specific animals with the animal’s native habitat or home.
  • Endangered species: What and Where? (Grades K-8): Students learn about North American endangered species through creation of a species book. Older students will locate endangered species on a map and explore their habitat requirements.
  • What’s your Habitat? (Grades K-8): Students explore basic survival needs of humans and wildlife by drawing their own homes and neighborhoods.
  • Who Can Live Here? (Grades 9-12): Students assess the fitness of a habitat for a specific species.

Wildlife in the Woods

  • A Year in the Life of a Grizzly Bear (Grades K-2): Students learn how grizzly cubs learn, what they do and how they grow in their first year. 
  • Massive Migrations (Grades K-4): Students will recognize that birds come from different parts of North America and show the length of time it takes some migratory birds to reach their destination is not the same.
  • Fill the Bill (Grades K-8): Students learn about bird feeding adaptations by using a variety of tools to simulate eating different foods.
  • Controversy Over Wild Cats (Grades 3-8): Students take part in a role-playing game about the Florida panther to help them understand the complexity of the issues surrounding species, habitat conservation and human interests.
  • Night Friends – Bat of the Americas (Activity guide with background information and the following lesson plans):
    • Bats: Maligned or Malicious (Grades K-8): Students explore their views of a threatened bat and present their findings. 
    • Build a Bat House (Grades 2-8): Students build a bat house for their Backyard Wildlife HabitatTM or Schoolyard Habitats® Site.
    • Investigating Bat Adaptations (Grades 3-6): Students investigate adaptations that increase a bat’s chance of finding food and surviving in a particular habitat.

Wildlife in the Plains

  • Tricky Tracks (Grades K-4):Students will identify the tracks of several different types of mammals. Students will explain how people can use tracks to find out more about mammal habits and behaviors.
  • Prairie Chicken Pageant (Grades K-8): Students learn about the conservation challenges of the prairie chicken through performing a pageant.
  • Bison Mystery Box (Grades K-8): Students will investigate the many uses of bison in Native American culture.
  • Call of the Wild (Grades K-4) (Grades 5-8): Students grades K-4 will understand various stages of a frog’s development cycle and students grades 5-8 will understand the nature of frog calls.
  • Box Turtle Interview (Grades 3-8): Students learn all about box turtles and then conduct an imaginary interview with a box turtle.

Wildlife in your Backyard

  • Butterfly Life Cycle (Grades K-4): Students identify life cycle stages of butterflies. Older students learn threats facing the endangered Karner blue butterfly at each stage in its life cycle.
  • Soil Decomposers (Grades K-8): Students will understand the food web of soil decomposers and impacts of the environment on soil decomposers.
  • Spider Sensations (Grades K-6): Participants discover how web-spinning spiders find their prey by feel.
  • Bird Behavior Hike (Grades 3-6) - Participants observe different bird behaviors.
  • The Pollinator's Journey (Grades K-4) (Grades 5-8) (Grades 9-12)  - Students will perform a role play about a threatened migratory pollinator and learn about pollinator species.

Wildlife on the Coasts

  • Pelican Activities(Grades 3-8): Students will discover how pelicans’ body parts all work together to create one interesting bird and learn specifically about brown pelicans.
  • Horseshoe Crab Fun(Grades 3-8): Students will learn about the lifecycles of horseshoe crabs and red knots.
  • Wonderful Whales(Grades K-4): Sing a song about whales and draw a blue whale to scale on blacktop while facts learning about whales.
  • Create a Fish(Grades 3-8): Students will learn about the special adaptations fish have evolved to help them improve their chances for living and reproducing.
  • Fish and Ladders (Grades 5-8) (Grades 9-12): Students will be able to explain developmental and migration patterns of salmon.

Get Our E-Newsletter 
Subscribe to Ranger Rick and Ranger Rick Jr. Today!
How Are You Celebrating?
Help Wildlife. Symbolically adopt an animal today!