Education

Lessons & Activities

Browse lessons and activities from EOL and our partners. Lessons and activities include relevant materials, EOL Collections and podcasts that can be used to supplement existing curriculum or on their own. These activities are aimed at upper elementary and middle school students but can be modified for elementary or high school students.

Each lesson or activity is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Please contact us with feedback or suggestions.

Behavior    
Biodiversity
Classification
Citizen Science
Ecology
Evolution
Impacts
Research


Behavior

Right Whale EOL page

Right Whale, Eubalaena glacialis (Communication)



Playing female whale calls into the water, researcher Susan Parks suddenly finds herself the center of attention of a group of male North Atlantic Right Whales.
Lesson plan (Partners: ListenCurrent and Encyclopedia of Earth)
EOL page  Transcript   Scientist interview
NGSS Standards

hibernation

Winter Survival (Hibernation) 

Students will explore how animals prepare for periods of hibernation, dormancy or torpor (inactivity). This activity was designed by Outdoor Biology Instructional Strategies (Lawrence Hall of Science) and accompanied by an EOL collection and game.
OBIS Lesson Plan and Activity: Animal Anti-freeze (Partner: OBIS)
EOL Surviving Winter Species Collection
EOL Surviving Winter Memory Game
NGSS Standards

camoflouge

Camouflage 

Students will experience that an animals coloring, markings, shape or behavior can help it camouflage or hide itself from predators or prey. This activity was designed by Outdoor Biology Instructional Strategies (Lawrence Hall of Science) and accompanied by an EOL collection and game.
OBIS Lesson Plan and Activity: Invent an Animal  (Partner: OBIS)
EOL Camouflage Species Collection

Multimedia
    An Octopus changing its appearance, color and body structure (Video)
    A Pygmy Seahorse as it blends in with its coral host (Video)
    A cuttlefish hides among rock reefs and seaweed (Video)
    A canyon treefrog in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, USA. (Video)

NGSS Standards


Biodiversity

Adaptations: Create a Creature

If you could create a new creature, what adaptations would it have and why? In this activity students design a trait card for an organism using behavioral and physical adaptations to help it survive in its environment.
Lesson Plan
Create a Creature Trait Card Template (PDF)
NGSS Standards

Adaptations: Go Adapt!

In this activity, students will use EOL Trait Cards to collect sets of different physical and behavioral adaptations, food chains, and classifications.
Lesson Plan
NGSS Standards


Classification

Fun With Classification: That's Classified!

This activity is inspired by the classic game, “Go Fish.” Students will classify organisms into groups based on adaptations and traits and compare, contrast, and discuss the traits of different organisms.
Lesson Plan
NGSS Standards

camoflouge

Taxonomy 

Understanding and Using the Taxonomic Ranking System is a classification activity from Animal Diversity Web, an EOL Content Partner. (Appropriate for ages 10-13 or middle school)
NGSS Standards


EOL page

Sea Slugs, Elysia chlorotica



Meet Elysia chlorotica, a bright green, solar-powered, algae-slurping sea slug that’s still turning our understanding of the classification of life upside down.
Lesson Plan (Partner: Listen Current)
EOL page  Transcript   Scientist Interview
NGSS Standards


Citizen Science

BioBlitz Skillbuilders

These ’Bioblitz Skillbuilders’ are a collection of short 10-20 minute engaging activities that target development of observation, identification, and classification skills and build a foundation for understanding and appreciating biodiversity.

  1. Meet a Creature
  2. ID That Bird! Using Field Guides
  3. How Diverse is Biodiversity?
  4. Modeling Classification
  5. ID with a Dichotomous Key

NGSS Standards


Ecology

Exploring Food Webs

The ’Exploring Food Webs’ activities address ecological concepts of energy flow through an ecosystem, trophic relationships, and interconnectedness of organisms in local habitats of Okaloosa County, Florida, but can be adapted for any community. These activities utilize EOL tools and resources through technological applications (Interactive Food Web Tool), classroom group work (EOL trait cards), and short field experiences.

  1. Lesson Overview - Food Webs
  2. Activity 1: Producers, Consumers, Decomposers
  3. Activity 2: Food Web Systems
  4. Activity 3: Exploring Food Chains and Webs
NGSS Standards

Energy Flow: Food Chains Rummy

Using EOL Trait Cards, students can dentify food web roles and analyze the relationships among organisms in order to create multiple food chains. Players earn points for each food chain and try to use all cards in order to end the game.
Lesson Plan
NGSS Standards

EOL page

Fungi and Decomposition

Learn how this mysterious form of life, neither animal nor vegetable, shapes our world. This podcast has two lesson plans - please see links below.

Lesson Plan (Partner: National Geographic
Lesson Plan (Partner: Listen Current)
EOL page  Transcript   Scientist interview
NGSS Standards


Impacts

Coral Reefs, Acropora (Coral bleaching)

Coral reefs are bustling cities of marine life, until rising ocean temperatures turn them into ghost towns. Can reefs spring back from devastating bleaching events? 
Lesson Plan (Partner: Listen Current)
EOL page  Transcript   Scientist Interview
NGSS Standards

Podcast

Red Swamp Crawfish, Procambarus clarkii (Commerce)

In this story, one species takes a journey that is nothing less than a circumnavigation powered by biology, and by business.


Lesson Plan (Partner: National Geographic)
Lesson Plan (Partner: Louisiana State University Agricultural Center)
EOL page  Transcript   Scientist Interview
NGSS Standards

Podcast

Dolphins, Stenella (Fishing/Bycatch)


Biologist Matt Leslie brings us a story about tuna, the intertwined fate of fisheries and dolphins, and the work of scientists.
Lesson Plan (Partners: Listen Current and Encyclopedia of Earth)
EOL page  Transcript   Scientist Interview
NGSS Standards

EOL page

Sea Butterflies (Ocean Acidification)



Sea butterflies, or pteropods are an integral part of the food web, and they’re in danger…because the chemistry of the world’s oceans is changing.
Lesson Plan (Partner: National Geographic)  
EOL page  Transcript   Scientist interview
NGSS Standards


Research

EOL page

Killer Whales, Orcinus orca (Adaptations)



In this podcast we go underwater to hear what killer whales sound like and explore the adaptations that different populations of killer whales have evolved to capture prey.
Lesson Plan  (Partner: Listen Current and Encyclopedia of Earth)
EOL page  Transcript   Scientist interview
NGSS Standards