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Distance Learning Resources for Environmental Literacy

Many community partners have developed content to support environmental literacy at home. Through these lessons and activities, students can still explore the world around them and discover their connection to the natural world. Check out these resources developed by past and current recipients of OSSE’s Environmental Literacy Advancement Grant, the Department of Energy and Environment, and other partners.

Presentations and Virtual Field Trips (On-Demand/Recorded Content)

  • Nature Connections: Livestream with Environmental Experts Recorded Videos
  • Where Does Our Garbage Go? Join our Garbology experts from Audubon Naturalist Society as they livestream from a waste management facility and investigate what happens to the garbage we leave behind!
  • In the Soil with Washington Youth Garden: Join the Washington Youth Garden in its garden in the National Arboretum, as we discover what was going on in the soil over winter to prepare for new sprouts in spring. From seeds, roots, and shoots - the garden soil helps plants thrive!
  • Meet the Animals of Hard Bargain Farm: Join the Alice Ferguson Foundation and explore the barnyard and pastures, meet goats, chickens, cows, and sheep, and connect food and fiber to their plant and animal sources. Learn about the survival needs of animals and plants, and how we use a variety of products in our daily lives.
  • All About American Shad: Did you know that DC has a state fish? It is the American Shad! Join the Anacostia Watershed Society to learn all about this amazing fish, why it is so important and the amazing journey it makes during its lifetime!
  • Your City, Your Trees: Celebrate Arbor Day! Join Casey Trees as we explore the reasons we love trees. Meet some of our staff and discover some of the benefits trees provide to our city.
  • What You’re Breathing Right Now!: Join Clean Air Partners as we investigate air quality in our nation’s capital and discuss its impact on our respiratory health.
  • Meet the Brood X Periodical Cicadas: One of the largest and densest cicada broods in the world is right beneath our feet in the DC Metro area, ready to emerge this spring after 17 years of growing underground! Inspire your students to replace fear with a fascination for the natural world as you learn all about the Brood X (Ten) Periodical Cicadas with Audubon Naturalist Society.
  • Live from the Stream: Join scientists from Anacostia Watershed Society and Audubon Naturalist Society as we investigate water quality, discover what is living in the stream, and explore the importance of mussels in keeping our water clean!
  • Alice Ferguson Foundation has developed a series of Virtual Learning Packages that include videos, lesson plans, worksheets, and more. Topics include macroinvertebrates, trash, pollution, and composting. The teacher resource page also hosts watershed-themed resources by Living Classrooms.
  • Check out the Anacostia River Adventures playlist by the Anacostia Watershed Society for short videos about the watershed, mussels, shad, wetlands, and more!
  • Audubon Naturalist Society’s YouTube Channel has several videos with nature and environmental content. The Garbology Playlist includes lessons and activities related to waste reduction and recycling, in English and Spanish. For younger learners, you can also search the Audubon Naturalist Society playlist for read-alouds of many books and craft projects.
  • Join City Blossoms, the Washington Youth Garden, and Common Good City Farm on virtual garden field trips.
  • Cleaner Air, Tree by Tree, a program developed by Casey Trees and Clean Air Partners, is a series of virtual investigations that explore the connection between planting trees and human impact on the environment.
  • The Department of Energy and Environment has a virtual tour of its Aquatic Resources Education Center, which houses more than 40 species of fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Rain Gardens in your Neighborhood is a video about how rain gardens help keep DC’s watersheds clean, provide habitat for wildlife, and look naturally beautiful.
  • FoodPrints Anywhere provides activities weekly that help build nutrition knowledge, extend science and math education, and help families cook and eat FoodPrints recipes together at home.
  • Every day is Arbor Day with the District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Division. Meet the arborists caring for DC trees in the Ask an Arborist video series, featured on the DDOT’s Community Outreach website. Learn about winter tree identification at the new pop-up arboretum in Oxon Run Park. Discover how urban trees are recycled for use in District schools and community gardens through the Urban Wood Reuse Program.
  • Living Classrooms has created short videos about topics traditionally covered during one of their Anacostia and Potomac River field trips, such as maritime history, oyster and crab life cycles, and marine pollution. A video about marine debris is available in Spanish.

Lessons and Activities

  • Anacostia Watershed Society has compiled Learning at Home resources for learning about the Anacostia Watershed from home. Organized by grade bands, topics include freshwater mussels, American shad and wetlands. Also included are ideas for creating a Naturalist Notebook.
  • City Blossoms is providing free resources to support nature-based activities and healthy living skills. Resources include lessons, booklets, and garden guides in English and Spanish.
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Learn Outside, Learn at Home is a selection of activities that can be done at home or in the neighborhood.
  • EcoRise has created an At Home Learning resource page with STEM and sustainability lessons.
  • Project Learning Tree has a series of Activities for Families geared toward students ages 3-15. Explore a nearby park, your backyard, or around your home.
  • Learn about the Brood X (Ten) periodical cicadas that will take place this spring! Learn to be a Friend to Cicadas via an educational presentation, downloadable digital notebook with activities, and a haiku contest.
  • Urban Adventure Squad has distance learning resources that encourage exploring the outdoors through adventures such as geocaching.
  • Washington Youth Garden has created a distance learning page that includes garden and science activities, particularly geared toward elementary-aged students. The page includes links to additional resources hosted by other organizations.