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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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The Museum provides both field-trip-related and non-field-trip related lesson plans, web-based activities for students, and other resources that can help you teach a range of science and natural history topics.

Ocean Portal: Lesson Plans and Activities
Find lessons/activities by topic, title or grade levels. Sort by newest, highest-rated or alphabetically. Lessons were developed by ocean science and education organizations like NOAA, COSEE, and NMEA to help you bring the ocean to your classroom. 

Educator’s Manual for Written In Bone, Forensic Files of the 17th-Century
This educator’s manual is intended as a companion to the Written in Bone exhibition. The guide offers activities for grade levels 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12, provides several primary sources for discussion and additional resources to enrich the classroom and/or field trip experience. Activities will allow teachers to connect concepts from the exhibition with a variety of curriculum areas including geography, history, social studies, and science and technology.

Measuring Biodiversity across North America
Bring biodiversity field data into the classroom using state-of-the-art interactive mapping technology. This resource combines an in-class lesson plan with interactive online components for students with which they can compare the richness of biodiversity across two or more geographic areas.

Anthropology Lesson Plans
Topics range from population genetics and ways to date objects to studying human cultures through churches and community festivals.

Ecosystem Lesson Plans
These lesson plans were designed to help teachers during tours of the temporary exhibition Listening to the Prairie. They address the prairie ecosystem, but could be applied to the study of any natural ecosystem. There are approximately 7-8 lesson plans for each grade level, PreK-1, 2-5, 6-8, 9-12.

Lewis & Clark as Naturalist Lesson Plans
Events surrounding the journey of Lewis and Clark reach across the curriculum. This series of lesson plans reflect on history, geography, ethnography, and natural history and use the journal writings of Lewis and Clark. There are activities for grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. In addition to the lessons, there are 10 vignettes to use as background reading.

Lesson Plans for Use with Field Trips

Q?rius Natural History Investigations
Download field trip guides for these immersive 60-minute workshops. In the Natural History Investigations, students will use objects, data, scientific equipment, and digital assets to investigate core ideas of natural history science and gain skills in the practices of science. (Grades 6-12)

Q?rius Expedition
Download a field trip guide for the Q?rius Expedition, a 60-minute self-guided survey of natural history topics, tools, and activities in Q?rius, for up to 60 students at a time. (Grades 6-12)

Discovery Room Lesson Plans
Programs in the Discovery Room require reservations, but lesson plans for all Discovery Room programs are available online.

Insect Zoo Educators’ Guide
The Teacher's Guide includes a summary of each of the fifteen main areas of the O. Orkin Insect Zoo, suggested vocabulary, a map for navigating and planning your trip, and a few suggestions for your visit.

Butterflies + Plants: Partners in Evolution Activity Guide
The activity guide can be used by students in grades seven and older to explore basic
evolutionary concepts.

Sant Ocean Hall Educators’ Guide
Engage your students in the search for evidence to address their own questions with guided preparation for their visit to the Sant Ocean Hall. Activities are differentiated for students in grades 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Connections to National Science Education Standards and Ocean Science Literacy Principles are included.

Sant Ocean Hall Family Guide
Created for families to use when visiting the exhibition, the Family Guide can also help to focus students on a field trip to the Sant Ocean Hall. It includes a map and question prompts that students and chaperones can use to make a personal connection to main themes and objects in the Hall.

Behring Family Hall of Mammals Educators’ Guide
The Teacher's Guide includes brief interpretations for each of the six main areas of the Behring Family Hall of Mammals, a vocabulary list, an online list of resources, and a few suggestions for your visit. It also features a table that correlates areas of the Behring Family Hall of Mammals with National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Life Science (Standard C) for grade levels K-4 and 5-8.

Dig It! Student Activities
Learn all about the hidden world of soils by discovering the recipes for them in Cooking up Soils, by learing how to care for soils in You Can Make a Difference, by learning how to read into soils in Reading Your State Soil, and by uncovering the four ways soils are important for all living things on Earth, including YOU!, in What's the Big Deal About Soils?. These activities provide a focused learning experience for school groups visiting Dig It!. Each activity is printable and stand-alone and will help students to dig deeper into the exhibit, discover how muchfun soils can be, and learn how to become soil conservationists! Print an exhibition map and make greater connections with the Exhibition Guide and Floorplan.

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