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.
- Elementary school students go on a natural history tour of gray wolves to learn about the largest canid in North America.
- High school students are introduced to the many ecosystem services bats provide and are presented with challenges bats face regionally and globally. In this lesson, students will explore anthropogenic impacts to bats and will be asked to create their own solution for bat population declines in their community.
- High school students explore the variety of opportunities within the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Program.
- High school students explore how natural resource managers adapt their work to reduce species loss and plan for changing seasons, habitats, and phenological patterns.
- Elementary school students analyze where seafood comes from, and then learn about the concept of sustainable fisheries. The lesson culminates with a research project where they discover how one of Washington’s fisheries are managed.
- Students investigate the reason fish hatcheries were built in the late 1800s in Washington state and study the role hatcheries play today.
- High school students analyze the intersection between marginalized communities and environmental health. Students answer questions like, “Who does overfishing harm the most?” and, “Who is most vulnerable to sea-level rise?” Students then take a look at their own communities by taking a self-guided walk and exploring their neighborhood with their senses.
- This learning sequence is anchored in the phenomena: Salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest are declining. Students will explore salmonid life cycles and discover patterns among life cycles of plants and animals who interact with salmon. Students will then learn what makes healthy habitats for salmon.
- High school students learn about the history of fish and wildlife conservation in the United States and analyze the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Students consider how fish and wildlife managers balance diverse community interests and use data from the best available science to inform management decisions.