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.
- 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.
- High school students discover the world of conservation biology and learn how people build corridors for wildlife to connect species to fragmented areas of habitat.
- 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.
- Middle school students learn various viewpoints of cat and wildlife advocates, find compromise, and create practical solutions.
- Middle school students analyze how their community co-exists with wildlife, and investigate why wildlife can be attracted to urban, suburban, and rural areas.
- 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.