Teaching Resources

Teaching environmental issues in your classroom is a critical component of providing your students a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience. Discover a wealth Chesapeake Bay related books, multimedia, curriculum guides, individual lesson plans and online data sources.

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Resources > wildlife  
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Turtles in My Sandbox Book

Turtles in My Sandbox teaches kids why turtles might be laying eggs in sandboxes rather than on their usual nesting site—the beach –and what some children are doing to help conserve this reptile. The author Jennifer partnered with the Maryland State Department of Education, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, and Department of Natural Resources to create the website that accompanies this book.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: habitat and niche, restoration, wildlife

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The Young Scientist's Introduction to Wetlands

This educational booklet from the US Army Corps of Engineers serves educational needs for Grades K-5. It addresses: What is a wetland?; Wetland plants; Wetland animals; Wetland types (marsh, swamp, floodplain, etc.); Visiting a wetland; and Value of wetlands. The publication measures 8.5X11 in. and 15 pages must be printed to create a master, which can then be copied back to back.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: wetland, wildlife

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Osprey Adventure Book

The heartwarming Osprey Adventure relays the way in which a boy and his biologist father save a large bird of prey from certain death. The tale is based on the work of real Bay hero, biologist Pete McGowan, who has studied these fish hawks for years and believes that most osprey nests unfortunately contain human trash that can be hazardous to the birds.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: habitat and niche, litter, trash and recycling, predator prey relationships, restoration, wildlife

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Turning the Tide on Trash: A Learning Guide on Marine Debris

Educators, parents, students, and researchers can use NOAA's “Turning the Tide on Trash” as they explore the serious impacts marine debris can have on wildlife, the environment, our well being, and our economy. This interdisciplinary guide can be used as a stand-alone teaching tool, or individual activities within the guide may be used to supplement work in other subject areas. Students searching for science fair projects can also adapt some of these lessons into research projects.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: litter, trash and recycling, restoration, water quality, wildlife, tides

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Give Me Shelter Sea Grass Activity

Students observe the feeding behavior and success rate of blue gill feeding on brine shrimp in two different environments; one with seagrass and one without. Students will gain a better understand of the following ecological service provided by underwater grasses: underwater grasses provide shelter for wildlife.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: food web, aquatic grass SAV, habitat and niche, wildlife, fish

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Chesapeake Bay Activity Book

This activity book features activities for elementary students featuring coloring pages, crosswords, and other activities centered around coastal science.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Books and Publications
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: wetland, watershed, habitat and niche, wildlife

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Biofilms and Biodiversity Lesson

Students will gain an understanding of the term biodiversity by investigating some samples of biofouling communities collected from the Inner Harbor water of the Chesapeake Bay. Identify some Chesapeake Bay macroinvertebrates. Perform a biodiversity index to estimate the diversity of the biofouling community. Increase their awareness of the scientific research being performed to better understand biofilm interactions with biofouling communities.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: biodiversity, stream study, water quality, wildlife

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Baby Owl's Rescue Book

This book is a realistic fiction based on the remarkable work of regional expert Kathy Woods. The tale features a brother and sister duo and their wildlife rehabilitator mom who know just what to do when they find that a baby owl has fallen out of its nest.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: habitat and niche, restoration, wildlife

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Impact of Climate Change on Diamondback Terrapin Activities

Through these four lessons, students will develop an understanding of the habitat and life cycle of the diamondback terrapin and human influence on this habitat and life cycle. Habitats within the Chesapeake Bay watershed are focused on. Potential impacts of sea level rise and climate change are highlighted.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Keywords: climate change, wetland, habitat and niche, wildlife

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NOAA Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum - Activity 4: Estuary Food Pyramid

In this activity, students will construct an example of a food pyramid for estuary organisms and examine this flow of energy. Students will understand that: (1) there are three major categories of living organisms in an ecosystem (producers, consumers, decomposers) and each has a special role; (2) the food energy produced by producers is cycled through the ecosystem through food chains and complex food webs by way of a series of energy levels called trophic levels; (3) energy is lost as it flows through the ecosystem. A food pyramid reflects fewer and fewer organisms at each level, supported by larger numbers of organisms at the trophic level just below; and (4) climate change has the potential for far reaching affects within marine food webs

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Keywords: climate change, food web, wildlife

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Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide, Second Edition

This “how-to” guide provides the basic steps needed to restore or create wildlife habitat on school grounds. It will take you and your students through each step of the process: planning, installing and sustaining a project. This is not a book about why schoolyard projects are important; this is a guide about how to make the best one for your site. It is also designed to engage students the completion of several tasks that will lead to establishing a schoolyard woodland, meadow or wetland.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: biodiversity, habitat and niche, restoration, schoolyard habitat, water quality, wildlife, student action

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A Teachers Guide to Delaware State Parks: Field Trips and Outreach Opportunities

Delaware State Parks are great places for students and teachers to explore nature and history. With 16 parks, five historic sites and many natural areas, Delaware State Parks offer you a comprehensive view of our state’s natural and historical heritage. This resource contains an overview of Delaware State Park field trip and outreach programs, as a printable PDF.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Delaware
Keywords: land use, watershed, wildlife, Outdoor Activity

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Riverworks Discovery: Wildlife Logbook

RiverWorks invites your students to come and explore the intricate web of river life. Through these activities and this information packet, your students will play detective and use their senses to find clues of local wildlife. They will also write their thoughts about your river experience and learn what you can do to make a difference.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, watershed, wildlife

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Striped Bass are Turning Ugly

In this activity, 6-8th grade students will analyze data and maps to understand how increased population growth impacts the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. Then they will explore how the health of the Bay affects its animals.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Keywords: pollution, land use, watershed, water quality, wildlife

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Earth's Freshwater: A Guide for Teaching Freshwater in Grades 3-8

This guide was developed to support teachers in teaching topics with real-world context, and provide them with the background to feel competent and comfortable when teaching about fresh water. It provides a solid introduction to fresh water in an accessible and reader-friendly manner. In addition to general information about fresh water, the guide includes numerous education features, such as teaching tips and student thinking, that help to connect the content to classroom practice.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Books and Publications
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, watershed, biodiversity, water quality, wildlife

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Virginia's Natural Resource Education Guide: Virginia's Wildlife Resources

Virginians are fortunate to share their home with a wide diversity of wildlife. This informational packet provides information on the importance of habitat to wildlife, and Virginia's wildlife management and conservation efforts. By completing the Counting Critters lesson plan that is included in this packet, students will be able to conduct a wildlife inventory of their community; describe cause and effect relationships that help and hinder wildlife in their community; and recommend changes in their community that could benefit wildlife.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: wildlife

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White-Tailed Deer: Beauty or Beast Lesson

Students will examine the methods for deer population control and the reasons why it is necessary. Students will learn about the natural history and reproductive patterns of the white-tailed deer.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Pennsylvania
Keywords: wildlife

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White-Tailed Deer Issues Lesson

Students explore how deer herds have positive and negative effects on the environment and possible management strategies.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Pennsylvania
Keywords: wildlife

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Trout In the Classroom Activity Guide

This activity guide and reference list gives teachers the background necessary to raise trout in their classroom.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: restoration, stream study, wildlife, fish

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Squid Dissection Lesson

The students will dissect a squid to study this amazing animals adaptation so they can have a better understanding of living creatures.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Keywords: adaptation, experiments and investigations, wildlife

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Skates Lesson

Using a rubber skate models, students will learn to identify the parts of a skate, observe the details of a skates body and skate egg case and understand the unique characteristics of a skate.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: wildlife

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Seashell Mapping Lesson

During this cooperative group activity, students work with seashells to build science skills in classifying, identifying, organizing, observing, interpreting, reaching consensus and drawing conclusions.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: wildlife

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Seashell Homes Lesson

During this interdisciplinary lesson, students listen to a story about seashells, discuss shelled animals to gain scientific understanding and participate in a visual arts activity that reinforces the lesson's key concept that shells are made by certain marine animals called mollusks for shelter and protection.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: habitat and niche, wildlife

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Pennsylvania Land Choices - An Educational Guide

Pennsylvania Land Choices is a national recognized award winning educational program developed by the DCNR State Parks to provide professional development for teachers, conservation and community leaders to understand the role of the citizen and local communities in making decisions that benefit conservation and sustainable community character. The program connects social studies and science in the 6 – 12 grades through place-based service learning, conservation and local government. The activities provide inquiry-based opportunities and hand-on activities that encourage service learning for the benefit of students and their community. Lessons are aligned to the Pennsylvania state academic standards and feature SAS protocols.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Pennsylvania
Keywords: nitrogen and carbon cycle, pollution, non-point source, water cycle and movement, population growth, wetland, land use, watershed, agriculture, development, stormwater, air pollution and fossil fuels, water and energy conservation, erosion, green development, transportation, water quality, wildlife, economics, student action

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Oceans for Life Videos

http://oceanslive.gso.uri.edu/ is a marine science portal that offers live video and special content to educate people of all ages about the ocean, including national marine sanctuaries. Learn more about oceanography, marine life, conservation and preservation, marine research technologies, and the nation's maritime heritage.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Multimedia
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: ecosystem and biomes, habitat and niche, wildlife

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