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.
- 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.
- Elementary schools students are introduced to the cold-blooded world of reptiles and amphibians, also known as herps. Students classify reptiles and amphibians using a graphic organizer and define what it means for a species to be a reptile or an amphibian.
- High school students investigate different disturbances of Pacific Northwest forests and explore differences between natural and human-caused disturbance. They learn how dry, ponderosa pine forests have evolved with wildfire and the suppression of this natural disturbance has made forests more susceptible to larger, more intense fires.
- Young elementary school students learn about a unique interior subspecies of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri). Students explore food webs connected to redband trout and predict what might happen if species from the web were removed.
- Elementary school students learn about a unique interior subspecies of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri). Students explore food webs connected to redband trout and predict what might happen if species from the web were removed.
- 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.
- 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.
- High school students are introduced to the various diseases and zoonoses that the wildlife and people of Washington experience.
- 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.