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Nature at School

An owl sits on a signpost reading Virtual pointing to a sign reading Nature at School

Nature at School

Video

Nature at School is a slate of free, live, interactive, virtual lessons with DNR educators. Developed for formal classroom teachers of grades 3-12, we've also adapted lessons for preK-2, with a minimum of 10 students. For smaller groups, or homeschool students, our webinar series allows any student, parent or teacher to participate. All previously recorded webinars are available in this YouTube playlist

Each topic includes a PDF pre-lesson with online resources and activities that introduce the lesson, as well as topic background information for teachers. Each post-lesson offers a wrap-up, more resources and student activities to further explore the content covered during the interactive 30-minute lesson. Teachers choose the distance learning platform they are familiar with, and invite our staff to join into a virtual class. Nature at School correlated to NGSS 3D

A wide variety of topics await you

Live virtual programs are available from after Thanksgiving through spring break each year. Registration opens September 1st for classroom teachers to book their programs. 

Homeshoolers, co-ops, pods, scouts and families - want to enjoy these great lessons? We have them all recorded for you to enjoy! Check out recordings on YouTube. 

Adaptations and Biodiversity: Balancing nature and human impacts

Live from Waterloo: Interpret how lower Michigan's largest public land base connects diverse habitat, unique ecology, and multiple forms of public recreation.

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Birds Are My Peeps

Live from southeast Michigan: Learn to observe, identify and record birds in your neighborhood and why biologists use these skills, from downtown Detroit to the wilds of the Upper Peninsula. This program can be adapted to all grades, including preK!

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Birds of Fire: The Kirtland's Warbler Story

Live from Hartwick Pines State Park: Explore the world of the Kirtland's warbler and the unique jack pine forest habitat it needs to survive. 

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Falls, Forests and Ferns

Live from Tahquamenon Falls State Park: Differentiate ecosystems, landforms and natural features from one of Michigan's most diverse areas of public land.

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Fast Food in the Natural World

Live from Mitchell State Park: Analyze how predator and prey relationships vary based on food webs, populations, management tools and animal adaptations.

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Fins, Tails and Scales

Live from Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery: Compare how fish have adapted to live in Michigan's lakes, rivers and streams while fisheries management keeps up with an ever-changing ecosystem. This program can be adapted to all grades, including preK!

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Hatchery to Habitat: A Michigan Fish Story

Live from Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery: Learn about fish biology and how the DNR raises fish to release into Michigan waters.  

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Michigan's Dunes: Like no place on earth

Live from Hoffmaster State Park: Characterize the greatest freshwater sand dunes in the world and their role as host to a vast diversity of plants and wildlife.

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Owl Prowl

Live from Southeast Michigan: Explore the world of owls.

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Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes

Live from Ludington State Park: Review the changes over time in the greatest freshwater ecosystem on the planet, including human impacts and natural phenomena.

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Scales and Scutes of the Dunes

Live from Hoffmaster State Park: Learn about the reptiles that call the dunes their home.

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Sea Lamprey: Vampires of the Great Lakes

Live from Ludington State Park: Learn about Michigan's first, and most impactful, invasive fish species, the sea lamprey.

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Seeing the Forest AND the Trees

Live from Hartwick Pines State Park: Recognize how Michigan's forests are managed for health and productivity to ensure a tree-mendous future.

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Skulls are the Key to Good ID

Live from Mitchell State Park: Discover the physiological differences used to identify a variety of Michigan mammals.

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Tree Detective

Live from Hartwick Pines State Park join DNR educator Craig Kasmer from Hartwick Pines State Park to learn the basics of tree identification.

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Water World

Live from Waterloo State Recreation Area: Understand how Michigan's vast network of lakes, rivers and streams connect to your watershed and impact your community.

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Wetland Mechanics: Functions and adaptations of Michigan's largest coastal marsh

Live from Bay City State Park: Discover how Michigan's largest coastal marsh provides clean water, habitat for wildlife and plants, with unique adaptations.

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Wildlife in Winter: Slumber and Survival

Live from Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park: Learn about what living things need to survive and how they do that in a frozen world. 

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Wild Spaces, Distant Places

Live from Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park: Explore Michigan's largest wilderness area and how it compares to your community.

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Find out what teachers think about the programs

The Nature at School programs have been well received by teachers all over the state. See which programs are most popular, what teachers had to say, and program statistics below.

2021-2022 Nature at School summary report

2020-2021 Nature at School summary report