Projects WILD and WILD Aquatic

Learning about wildlife in the environment is just part of the goals of Projects WILD and Aquatic WILD. These activity-based materials teach young people about wildlife and the environment through hands-on learning. They allow student experiences to be the source of the teaching.

The activity guides are full of activities that may be immediately added to any K-12 curriculum. Materials are reviewed by science, curriculum, education and environmental experts for accuracy and educational value. Each lesson plan is tested in real classroom to ensure effectiveness and high-quality student involvement.

Project WILD and Aquatic WILD materials are available to formal and non-formal educators through workshops on request for groups of at least 15 educators and/or youth leaders. Workshops also are provided through several colleges and universities. Workshop participants learn about the natural world through hands-on experiences they can pass on to their students.

Correlations to Next Generation Science Standards
Correlation of Next Generation Science Standards with Project WILD Activities
Correlation of Next Generation Science Standards with Aquatic WILD Activities

Suggested Activity Lists
Early Grades (K-4) Suggested Activity by Activity
Early Grades (K-4) Suggested Activity by Social Studies Standard
Early Grades (K-4) Suggested Activity by Science Standard
Middle Grades (5-8) Suggested Activity by Activity
Middle Grades (5-8) Suggested Activity by Science Standard
Middle Grades (5-8) Suggested Activity by Social Studies Standard
Secondary (9-12) Suggested Activity by Activity
Secondary (9-12) Suggested Activity by Social Studies Standard
Secondary (9-12) Suggested Activity by Science Standard

Upcoming Workshops
Taking STEM Outside: WILD Project-based Learning in Your Schoolyard
June 13 & 14, 2016 (100% attendance required for credit)
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Guthrie Center Elementary School (900 North 4th Street, Guthrie Center)
Registration Deadline: June 8, 2016
Registration Fee: $60 (includes materials and 1 license renewal credit); or $135 (includes materials and 1 EDMA graduate credit)
Electronic Registration

Learn how outdoor projects, exploration, and investigations provide fantastic opportunities for project-based learning that addresses Iowa Core Science Standards. We will demonstrate how to bundle your favorite Project WILD and Aquatic WILD activities with field investigations to create project-based learning units. Much of this “flipped” professional development will be spent creating your own path through a host of nationally developed and tested resources to engage your students in authentic inquiry through modeling, discussion, and practice using your school yard or a local natural area and your classes as the framework.

Participants should to bring a laptop or notebook, information about their school site or a nearby natural area, their science standards (and/or other relevant standards), and relevant curriculum resources for use with workshop activities. Teaching partners/groups are encouraged to facilitate planning/implementation of projects. The registration fee includes materials.

For more information, contact: Barb.Gigar@dnr.iowa.gov; 515-494-3891.


Exploring Iowa’s Natural Resources On-line Course (K-12 Educators)
September 18, 2016 – January 15, 2017

The goal of this course is to help you utilize a STEM-based approach that incorporates local natural resources as unifying themes to implement Iowa Core concepts in your curriculum. You will work in small groups and individually to create a network of contacts and resources to teach natural resource concepts. Group and individual assignments will build on each other throughout the course.

Participants will build a project-based learning unit for their personal teaching situation, so you can immediately incorporate the course resources and tactics into your teaching. It is offered for 3 license renewal or graduate credits, and also qualifies for credit for the STEM endorsement through Drake and Grandview.

Registration deadline is September 11, 2016 - you must register electronically (Activity #: 22007499991701). Registration fee: $175 (materials, 3 license renewal credits); $395.00 (materials, 3 Drake graduate credits). This course is being offered by AEA PD Online, a joint initiative by all of Iowa's Area Education Agencies. This course therefore uses AEA PD Online's alternative fee schedule for license renewal and graduate credit. Transcripts and credit will be issued by AEA PD Online instead of Heartland AEA.

For more information, contact: Barb.Gigar@dnr.iowa.gov; 515-494-3891.


Exploring Iowa's Natural Resources blog
Learn fun ways to incorporate natural resources into your classroom.

Growing Up WILD: Exploring Nature with Young Children
Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program for Project WILD that builds on children's sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. With activities written by educators and wildlife professionals and reviewed by experts in early childhood education, the guide provides and early foundation for developing active, healthy children who appreciate nature and are prepared to enter school with ample learning skills.

Activities have been correlated to national standards for early childhood education – NAEYC Criteria for Curriculum, Head Start Child Outcomes Framework and the NAAEE Early Childhood Environmental Education Guidelines for Excellence. Additional correlations have been drafted to Iowa Early Childhood program and curriculum standards – Quality Preschool Program Standards, Iowa Early Learning Standards, and the Iowa Core Curriculum.

Growing Up WILD received the 2009 Family Choice Award and the 2011 Renewable Natural Resource Foundation Excellence in Journalism Award.

Correlations to Iowa Standards
Alignment to Iowa Early Learning Standards
Alignment to Iowa Learning Standards
Alignment to Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards
Alignment to Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards
Grades K-2 Alignment to Iowa Core Curriculum
Grades K-2 Alignment to Iowa Core Curriculum

Upcoming Workshops
Reconnecting Children with Nature: Growing Up WILD Early Childhood Training
June 4 , 2016
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Shelter House - Walden Campground(2303 450th St, Wallingford)
Registration: Contact Monique Ortiz, Mid-Sioux Opportunity - mortiz@midsioux.org, 712-786-3429
Cost: $35
Addresses CDA Content Area 2—Steps to advance children’s physical and intellectual development.

This workshop leads you out the door and provides hands on activities and resource materials to help you lead your own nature explorations. Growing Up WILD activities use age appropriate practices and concepts to build on children’s sense of wonder and invites them to explore nature and the world around them. Specially written for children 3-7, activities include sections to address many learning areas: math, science, language, literacy, health living, play, and creativity.

Growing Up WILD received the 2009 Family Choice Award and the 2011 Renewable Natural Resource Foundation Excellence in Journalism Award.

Outdoor Explorations for Early Learners blog
Learn fun ways to incorporate nature into your early childhood classroom. Activities build on children's sense of wonder and invites them to explore nature and the world around them.

Lesson Plans
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