Beavers, Nature's Engineers

Beaver stands next to water body

Elementary school students swim into the semi-aquatic world of North America’s largest rodent and study how and why beavers build dams and the impacts beaver dams have on surrounding ecosystems. Students attempt to build their own beaver dam or lodge and evaluate why beaver dams don’t always work.  

Students investigate how beavers are beneficial to ecosystems and other wildlife. They also explore how the department and conservation organizations work with landowners to help promote beaver and human co-existence. The final activity in the lesson is courtesy of Beavers Northwest. Students role play as a member of the ecosystem to figure out just how beneficial beavers may be! 

Lesson plan

Beavers, Nature's Engineers 

Supplemental resources

Wild Washington LIVE!

Recorded Jan. 22, 2021