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Activities & Resources for Environmental Education at Home

Many families are serving the role of at-home educator, so we have curated a list of some of our favorite environmental education activities for you to do at home! We will be updating this post with our favorite activities and video resources. (Last updated: April 17, 2020).

 

At-Home Activities

 

Create-a-Critter

Grades: 3-6
Technology: None
Extra Materials: Pencil and paper

Encourage your students to review animal adaptations with Create a Critter! Students will walk through different adaptation for animals that live in the water and choose what adaptations they want their critter to have. Be sure to share the Critter you create with us on social media!

Download Create a Critter.


Life Support Curriculum

Grades: 4-12
Technology: None
Extra Materials: None

In partnership with the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts, the Cumberland River Compact put together the “Life Support Curriculum” for students in grades 4-12. This free curriculum features easy-to-understand text, illustrations, puzzles, and lab activities to help students explore the water cycle, watersheds, and the work people do to provide clean water. Activities in the booklet do not require technology and most are self-explanatory without the need for an educator’s guidance. 

Life Support Curriculum, Student Edition

Life Support Curriculum, Teacher Edition


Host a Water Week

Grades: K-4
Technology: None
Extra Materials: Common household materials are needed depending on the day of the week.

Have students participate in a water activity every day of the week! Each activity is easy for kids to do on their own and requires only household materials. Download the weekly guide and get started today! 

Download our Water Week Guide


Weekday Wonders from the Tennessee Aquarium

Grades: PreK-5
Technology: None
Extra Materials: Minimal extra materials vary by activity

Explore Weekday Wonders from our friends at the Tennessee Aquarium! Weekday Wonders is a series designed for parents and other adults who are interested in engaging children in science at home. These resources are carefully curated to include activities that address content students learn in school, while being written in a way that it is easy for caregivers to facilitate, even while working

Visit the Resources


Nature Journaling

Grades: 1-6
Technology: None
Extra Materials: Pencil and paper

Head outside to practice making scientific observations and writing! This activity includes 5 nature journal prompts to help kids observe nature and communicate their observations.

Nature Journaling: Weekly Guide


Virtual Aquatic Biodiversity Scavenger Hunt

Grades: 6-12
Technology: Computer or mobile device with internet access
Extra Materials: Pencil and printed scavenger hunt sheet

Explore the amazing biodiversity that calls Tennessee home through a virtual scavenger hunt! Learn about animal adaptations, the special habitats of aquatic animals, and how scientists study biodiversity!

Download the Virtual Scavenger Hunt


 

Litter Pick-Up and Scavenger Hunt

Grades: K-8
Technology: None
Extra Materials: Gloves and trash bags to collect litter.

Take a walk around your neighborhood and help pick-up litter! Trash we find in our neighborhoods eventually makes its way to our waterways, causing significant pollution issues in the Cumberland River. Participate in a litter scavenger hunt to see if you can find everything listed. Then practice your writing skills by telling a story about the litter you found or brush up on math skills by creating a bar graph.

Download the Litter Scavenger Hunt


Biodiversity and Habitat Scavenger Hunt

Grades: K-6
Technology: None
Extra Materials: Pencil

Head outside and try to find EVERYTHING on our biodiversity and habitat scavenger hunt card! Then, spend 10 minutes making observations of nature. You will also find this activity in our Water Week guide.

Download the Scavenger Hunt


Trees Please!

Grades: K-4
Technology: Limited, some activities ask to look at other resources online.

The Cumberland River Compact developed a “Trees Please!” set of lessons for Metro Nashville STEAM schools. We recently modified these lessons for at-home STEAM engagement. These activities will help your kids get outside and learn about the trees in your yard or neighborhood while also practicing important STEAM skills. Activities include mapping trees in your yard, identifying and measuring trees, collecting data on urban heat, and creating tree-themed art.

Download our Trees Please guide

Video Resources

 

How to Explore Nature Near You

Grades: K-12
Technology: Internet access to watch YouTube video
Materials: None

Learn how to explore the nature near you with our short video featuring our favorite tips! You can find biodiversity everywhere, including your backyard and neighborhood!

Watch the video


Journey down the Cumberland River with Freddie the Fish

Grades: 2-5
Technology: Internet access to watch YouTube video
Materials: Paper and pencil to answer questions.

Freddie the Fish makes a journey down the River, but runs into water pollution along the way! Watch Freddie’s journey and learn about how pollution makes its way to our water and what you can do to protect the water.

Watch the video


Creek Critters: Using Macro-invertebrates to Determine Stream Health

Grades: 6-12
Technology: Internet access to watch YouTube video
Extra Materials: None

Join the Cumberland River Compact as we dive into Creek Critters and how we use benthic macro-invertebrates to determine stream health! This video is an educational look at aquatic biology for middle and high-schoolers and covers topics like aquatic biodiversity, energy pyramids, ecosystem function, and water pollution.

Watch the video

 

Online Resources

 

iNaturalist and Seek

Grades: 8-12 (younger students can use the online app with permission from an adult).
Technology: a mobile device to download the app and take photos or computer with internet access and a camera.

You can help us understand what lives in your neighborhood by making nature observations! Use iNaturalist to submit your observations of nature you see. The Seek app is designed for families and includes monthly challenges to find wildlife. It’s like Pokemon Go, but for nature! Seek does not require registration and no user data is collected, so it is safer for families and kids to use.


Macroinvertebrates.org

Grades: 8-12
Technology: Internet to access website

Learn about the diversity of aquatic macroinvertebrates found in our creeks and streams. Explore in-depth photos, scientific drawings, and dichotomous keys to identify invertebrates. You can even take a quiz to test your knowledge.

Visit the website

 

Are you participating in fun environmental activities at home? We’d love to see what you are up to! Be sure to tag us on social media or send us an email at info@cumberlandrivercompact.org