​​​Wildlife Lesson Plans​​

This page contains Educational Units developed for The Nature of Teaching program. Each unit contains one or more lesson plans that have been written to Indiana's Academic Standards with an emphasis on Science and Math Standards. Some lesson plans contain readings from which Literary Standards can be met. Click on an image to open the PDF of the Educational Unit. Text with black boxes within the PDFs are links to supplemental materials.


Animal Diversity and Tracking
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This Unit includes four lesson plans: Animal Tracks, Scent Stations, Indoor Track Casting, and Outdoor Track Casting. It meets several K-5 Science and Math Academic Standards and three 9-12 Natural Resource Management Academic Standards.

Unit 1

Animal Diversity and Tracking

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Mammal Food Webs
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This Unit contains four lesson plans: Be A Tooth Sleuth, Poster Exploration of Food Webs, Student Investigations of Food Webs, and Energy Flows and Food Webs. It meets several K-5 Science Academic Standards.

Unit 2

Mammal Food Webs

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Reptiles, Amphibians, and the Scientific Method
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This Unit includes three lesson plans: Habitat Selection, Icy N' Hot Crickets, and Hot Rock. It meets several K-5 Science and Math Academic Standards and three English Academic Standards.

Unit 3

Reptiles, Amphibians, and the Scientific Method

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Mammal Food Webs
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This lesson plan demonstrates why ecosystems are useful for describing how organisms depend on and interconnect with one another. It meets several K-5 Science, Math, and English Academic Standards.

Eco-llapse

How Organisms Interact

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Mammals and Ecosystems
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This Unit includes two lesson plans describing the role mammals play in ecosystems. Students learn to build their own ecosystems and research mammals. It meets several K-5 Science Academic Standards, three K-5 Language Academic Standards, and one K-5 Math Academic Standard.

Unit 4

Mammals and Ecosystems

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Mammal Food Webs
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This Unit includes two lesson plans and classroom activities for students kindergarten through grade five. The lesson plans describe how an ecosystem is constantly changing and what causes the changes. It meets several 3-5 Science Academic Standards, three K-5 English Academic Standards, and one K-5 Math Academic Standards.

Unit 5

Ashes to Ashes: We All Grow Up

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Coloration Exploration
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A lesson and classroom activities for 5th grade students which helps them understand how animals change colors to survive in their environments. It meets several Math and Science Academic Standards.

Coloration Exploration

Color Change in Animals

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Discovering the Watershed
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A lesson with classroom activities for teachers and students through grade five introducing students to watersheds and why they are important to a healthy ecosystem. Students also learn about water quality. It meets several English and Science Academic Standards.

Discovering the Watershed

Effects on Water Quality

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Healthy Water, Happy Home
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A lesson​ with a board game to teach 4th ​and 5th grade students about the importance of water quality as well as ways to promote healthy water quality from home. It meets several English/Language Arts Academic Standards and one Science Academic Standard.

Healthy Water, Happy Home

Water Quality, Aquatic Habitat, and Indicator Species

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Common Indiana Mammals
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Mammals play an integral role in many habitats. Knowing more about these intriguing animals can help us enjoy and appreciate the diversity of wildlife around us. These natural history cards can be used to identify 34 mammalian species native to Indiana by appearance, skull, or by tracks. It meets several Science Academic Standards. ​

Common Indiana Mammals

Natural History and Identification

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Invasive plants
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This lesson teaches students about the significant environmental and economic losses that can be caused by the introduction of invasive plant species. It includes a game that can be played in class, plus a worksheet. The lesson meets multiple Science, Natural Resources, Math, and Social Studies Academic Standards.

Invasive plants

Impact on Environment and People

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Hellbenders Rock!
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This lesson teaches students about the endangered eastern hellbender and the importance of conserving it. This lesson meets several English/Language Arts Academic Standards, two Math and three Science Academic Standards. There is an additional free iOS app associated, found here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.purdue.HellbenderHavoc&hl=en

Hellbenders Rock!

Natural History and Conservation of the Eastern Hellbender

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Tooth Sleuth ​

A Tooth Sleuth knows you can tell what a mammal eats just by looking at its teeth. Some teeth tear, some grind, and some crush food. This poster describes different kinds of mammal teeth and how you can use those tooth types to figure out if a mammal is a herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore. A full color, 20x28-inch poster can be purchased from the Purdue Education Store. K-12 teachers can receive a poster at no charge by emailing Rob Chapman

​Related Links​​

​Nature Publications
4-H - National - Indiana  ​
Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (WHEP) - National - Indiana - Publications 
Future Farmers of America (FFA) - National - Indiana - Publications
Project Wild - National - Indiana
Project Wet -  National - Indiana
Flying Wild  -  National - Indiana
Project Learning Tree - National - Indiana
Purdue P-12 Portal  
Purdue zipTrips 
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