Lessons & Activities

The following modules are intended for any educator to use within the 3rd-8th grade environment. Lesson plans are available in red text to view and download, and are followed by a brief description of the activity. All lesson plans combine both literacy development and environmental science content, and have been developed to be hands-on and place-based within the Sonoran Desert. Any feedback or questions can be directed to Elena Greenberg at elenagreenberg@email.arizona.edu(link sends e-mail) 

3rd Grade Module: Monarch Butterflies

Students practice summarizing in science on the topic of monarch butterflies. Summarizing is scaffolded in an "I do, We Do, You do" format. Students utilize their summaries to create individual Adobe Express videos to communicate the importance of protecting monarchs. 

3rd-5th Grade Module: Flower Dissection

Students explore the parts of a flower and their functions through a guided dissection activity that has each student dissect and label each part of a flower. Card sets are used alongside the activity to connect physical and graphical representations of these parts. Students then demonstrate their knowledge by coloring in each part on their card set, creating a guide that can be used for reference as well as to test their knowledge

4th Grade Module: Earthworks Project

Students are given the opportunity to utilize the creative communication tool Adobe Express to demonstrate knowledge on the concept of Earthworks and biodiversity.

5th Grade Module: Investigating the Urban Heat Island Effect

Students explore the Urban Heat Island effect and relate this topic to their local school environment. Students act as citizen scientists to record temperature data from different surfaces around the school and discuss their observations with peers. Throughout this activity, students are introduced to the literacy strategy of summarizing in science and data collected is published on ArcGIS StoryMaps. 

7th/8th Grade Module: The Importance of Biodiversity and Bat Conservation

Students explore the importance of bats and the variety of life here in the Sonoran Desert. Over the course of 4 days, students spent time outside in the outdoor classroom participating in a bioblitz activity, reading an article on bat conservation, creating TikTok videos to demonstrate their knowledge of bats and the importance of biodiversity, and sharing these with their peers.