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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


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 some lessons for preK-2. We required a minimum of 10 students. For smaller groups, or homeschool students, our recorded webinar series allows any student, parent or teacher to participate and can be seen inbthis YouTube playlist.

Each topic includes a PDF pre-lesson with online resources and activities, 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. See the Nature at School correlations 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 in September for classroom teachers to book their programs. 

Homeschoolers, 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. 

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. 


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!


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.  


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.


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.


Scales and Scutes of the Dunes

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

2022-2023 Nature at School summary report

2021-2022 Nature at School summary report

2020-2021 Nature at School summary report