Themed around the state’s diverse flora and fauna, Wild Washington lessons and are designed to equip K-12 students with the knowledge, social, and emotional skills needed to think critically, and problem solve around natural resource issues. Activities encourage students to explore various points of view and collaborate with others to find ways to move forward on real-world challenges.
The Department is working with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to ensure lesson plans best meet state and national environmental and sustainability learning standards. Lessons are developed for educators to use in the classroom, and also have modifications embedded for distance learning.
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Elementary school (K-5th grade)
Kindergarten - 5th grade lessons introduce learners to relevant ecological and wildlife-based issues throughout the state. The interactive activities and lesson plans aim to increase problem-solving and critical thinking skills in a variety of disciplines. Lesson vocabulary words and some supplemental materials are available in Spanish.
Middle school (6th-8th grade)
Middle school lessons build on concepts from K-5 lessons and introduce students to careers involving natural sciences. Decision making and collaboration are key social themes as students prepare themselves for high school.
High school (9th-12th grade)
High school lessons focus on teaching students knowledge and skills that can be applied to careers in the natural sciences. Students will focus on sustainability in fish and wildlife, and apply skills in civics to solve problems facing the natural resource industry and balance community interests.
- Middle school students explore the world of aquatic invasive species that threaten Washington’s cultures, environments, and economies. Next, students dive deeper and learn more about European green crab and zebra/quagga mussels and what state agencies are doing to keep these species out of Washington’s waters.
- Middle school students explore the world of birding and community science.
- Middle school students enter the world of conservation biology as they learn about what endangered status for a species means. Students watch videos to learn about what species in Washington are considered at risk of extinction and how diverse stakeholders work together to recover species.
- Middle school students are introduced to migration concepts in animals and birds with a focus on migrating waterfowl (ducks, geese, and swans).
- Middle school students research the ungulates (hoofed mammals) of Washington and figure out why physical characteristics are important for increasing probability of reproduction during the breeding season (rut).
- Middle school students dive into Puget Sound and explore predator-prey relationships and species decline. Students will hypothesize about the relationship between Southern Resident orcas and Chinook salmon and will cite their claims using empirical evidence.
- Middle school students learn various viewpoints of cat and wildlife advocates, find compromise, and create practical solutions.
- Middle school students explore the exciting world of Washington's pollinators and learn why pollinators are important to our environments and economies.
- Middle school students analyze how their community co-exists with wildlife, and investigate why wildlife can be attracted to urban, suburban, and rural areas.
- Middle school students explore the multi-billion dollar, illegal industry of wildlife trafficking. Students also investigate how poaching and trafficking are harmful to communities, economies, and ecosystems in an interactive discussion.
- Middle schools students analyze the positive and negative aspects of wildfires in Washington and learn about historical fire regimes and how Washington ecosystems and wildlife have evolved with fire over thousands of years.
- Middle school students investigate the field of wildlife rehabilitation and explore reasons why wildlife gets sick or injured and learn about the people who help wildlife recover. The lesson teaches students that wildlife rehabilitation is a trained medical profession requiring special training, skills, and space to treat and care for wildlife.