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4-H Exploring Your Environment Project

Program Contact: Jenny W. Loyd, 4-H Program Coordinator
(509) 574-1600 • jennifer.loyd@co.yakima.wa.us

exploreExploring Your Environment projects is designed to teach middle school aged youth about the environment and their impact on the world. Projects focus on environmental stewardship and living a sustainable life.

Objectives

  • Use scientific thinking and abilities to explore natural and man-made environments
  • Increase awareness of career potential in environmental science
  • Develop an understanding of the components of Ecosystem Services
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the components of Environmental Stewardship
  • Affect change in local community by having a voice in environmental issues

4-H Exploring Your Environment Curriculum

Available from the Extension office or online.

Exploring Your Environment – Ecosystem Services
Exploring Your Environment – Earth’s Capacity
Exploring Your Environment – Facilitator Guide

National 4-H Environmental Sustainability
State Environmental Education and Earth Science

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Helpful Resources

Educational Wildlife Bingo Game

This fun bingo game comes with enough pieces for 2-6 players and promises to make learning about Wildlife fun! Players select picture boards and place a chip over the corresponding image as cards are read aloud by the caller. Each card has educational facts about wildlife. The first person to cover the selected pattern and yell bingo wins!

Ecosystems and Biodiversity from Project Green Schools

This page compiles multiple curriculum resources from earth science organizations.

I Am An Ecosystem:  Elementary Microbiology

I Am an Ecosystem introduces youth to the invisible world of microbes. Through this curriculum, youth engage in hands-on activities across six lessons to explore the importance of microbes to healthy ecosystems, healthy food, and healthy bodies.

Plants and Animals – USDA Forest Service

4-H Outdoor Adventures Curriculum

Outdoor Adventures Level 1:  Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails includes shelter selection, Leave No Trace camping skills, outdoor cooking and environmental awareness and appreciation. Grades 3-5.

Outdoor Adventures Level 2:  Camping Adventure

Focuses on hiking for a day. Learn about clothing needs, packing a daypack, reading topographic maps, and orienteering skills.

Outdoor Adventures Level 3:  Backpacking Expeditions

Focuses on being on the trail for extended periods of time. It includes clothing needs; tent setup; using backcountry stoves; basic nutrition; menu planning for multi-day hikes; personal hygiene & basic first aid.

Outdoor Adventures Group Activity Helper’s Guide

Enables helpers to facilitate the teaching of the curriculum. Utilizing the experiential learning model, the guide targets technical, organizational, problem solving, safety and communication skills.

Mini Outdoor Essentials Kit

There are a few non-negotiable items that every outdoor adventurer must have. This is one of them. Complete with a fanny pack, utility knife and compass – this essential kit consists of the basic essential outdoor survival items every young explorer will need.

4-H Wildlife Science Curriculum

Wildlife Science Level 1 Digital Download

The Wildlife Science curriculum is for youth who enjoy learning about wildlife and exploring their habitats. Learn about mammals, birds, fish, and herptiles and the role humans play in conservation and wildlife management.  Level 1 introduces the wildlife groups: mammals, birds, fish, and herptiles. Youth will learn about the similarities and differences among these groups and then study each one.

Wildlife Science Level 2 Digital Download

The Wildlife Science curriculum is for youth who enjoy learning about wildlife and exploring their habitats. Learn about mammals, birds, fish, and herptiles and the role humans play in conservation and wildlife management.  In Level 2, youth explore more complex wildlife topics, such as habitats, conservation, and signs of wildlife.

Wildlife Science Level 3 Digital Download

The Wildlife Science curriculum is for youth who enjoy learning about wildlife and exploring their habitats. Learn about mammals, birds, fish, and herptiles and the role humans play in conservation and wildlife management.  Activities in Level 3 are divided into chapters based on how youth might use the information they’ve learned—as a homeowner, resident of a watershed, food and fiber producer (farmer), mayor, teacher, or legislator. This manual is advanced and includes significant research and development of a wildlife habitat.

Wildlife Science Facilitator’s Guide Digital Download

The Wildlife Science curriculum is for youth who enjoy learning about wildlife and exploring their habitats. Learn about mammals, birds, fish, and herptiles and the role humans play in conservation and wildlife management. The Facilitator’s Guide is for all three levels. This guide contains activity facilitation and answers as well as a listing of the Next Generation Science Standards by activity.

Nebraska 4-H Curriculum

Bird Behavior

Why do ducklings follow their mothers? Do birds talk to each other? Do birds eat other birds? Learn everything you need to know about birds from this manual.

Insectigator

The Insectigator encourages families to go outside and investigate wildlife around them. It provides an opportunity for youth to explore and investigate the natural world we live in. It was created for beginning entomologists, especially those between 8 and 11 years old. It can also be used with younger youth with an adult. Anyone who has an interest in insects is encouraged to use this manual, regardless of age.

Wildlife Conservation 1:  The Worth of Wild Roots

Enjoy 68 pages in full color. Wildlife Conservation I describes what wildlife conservation is about; the history of wildlife conservation in the United States, including the tale of bison and passenger pigeons; and the values of wildlife to people, including the wealth of services from nature, an area we are rapidly learning more about.

Wildlife Conservation 2:  Living Wild in an Ecosystem

Wildlife Conservation II sneaks through wildlife habitat, how size and shape of habitat patches affect various wildlife species, what makes wildlife number go up or down, and how wildlife survives within natural communities and ecosystems. You can do it! You have a wild heart! And if you don’t, you’ll have fun anyway. As in other manuals in this series, there are several projects that you can do to learn about wildlife and to become involved in helping give wildlife a lift.

Wildlife Conservation 3:  Managing in a World with You and Me

Wildlife Conservation III ties concepts form all three manuals in the series together. It deals with the interface between people and wildlife, including why and how we manage wildlife and the agencies responsible. Threatened and endangered species, hunting, wildlife damage management, invasive species, and related topics are included.

Pennsylvania 4-H Resources

Published by Penn State University.

Environment and Ecology

This resource includes lesson plans on Ecosystems; Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources; Endangered, Threatened and Extinct species; and Watersheds and Wetlands.

WIldfire Lesson Plans

Using educational flyers, videos, and smartboard technology, these lesson plans help students explore wildfire prevention and investigate how controlled burns are used for habitat restoration.

Meadow Repository

Meadows play an important role in our ecosystem and have multiple benefits for wildlife and humans.  Whether your project is a small backyard or a community park of several acres, your contribution to enhancing the environment will be significant.

White-tailed Deer Lesson Plans

These lessons focus on the impact of deer on the forest ecosystem. The activities are designed for youth grades 6-12. The rationale for the lessons is the need for better education and understanding about the issues surrounding deer abundance.

By studying deer biology and deer interactions with their habitat, students will gain a better appreciation for the animal as well as the importance of deer population control. Youth will understand that an over-abundance of deer can have significant negative impacts on forest ecosystems.

Educator Generated Lesson Plans

These lesson plans cover Earth Sciences, Forestry/Natural Resources, Water, and Wildlife.