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These free lesson plans include teacher guides and student guides for asynchronous learning, with narrated slides to support students who are learning to read. 

Map of Bay Area Native people and their languages

First Peoples of Santa Cruz
Grades K-2 and 3-5

These lesson sequences center around Indigenous culture and the relationships between people, plants, and animals. Students learn about the original human inhabitants of Santa Cruz through videos in our native plant garden, listening to stories, exploring artifacts, and seeing different tools and practices used to survive and take care of the land.

Our Animal Neighbors
Grades K-2

This lesson sequence is designed for K-2nd grade students and focuses on biodiversity, animal adaptations, and habitats. Through making observations, nature journaling, and comparison, students come to understand how patterns of diversity change across landscapes, and how structure and function relate to one another.

A duck and duckling in a lagoon

Wondrous Wetlands
Grade 3

This lesson sequence explores the importance of wetlands, tying together themes of conservation and preservation through the phenomenon of migration. Students will connect their own ability to navigate from place to place by memory with how birds migrate, conduct a mini research report, and consider potential threats to wetlands, culminating in taking an action to protect them.

Nature Detectives
Grade 4

This four-part lesson sequence centers around the natural history of Pogonip open space, and how humans have used resources and affected the area throughout history, from Indigenous times to the present day. Students make observations, share predictions, and learn about how animals and plants can be affected by the actions of people.