Science education in K-12 classrooms integrates concepts from a variety of disciplines, offering excellent teaching opportunities for enhancing young learner's awareness of natural ecosystems. No matter if you are a teacher from a rural or urban community, you can actively engage youth in classroom and outdoor activities focused on rangeland science. For example, subject areas include botany, ecology, soils, watersheds, wildlife, herbivory and grazing management, and human dimensions.
Below are a few examples of rangeland teaching resources, including curricula and programs. Just like land ownership and vegetation patterns vary from west to east and geographic region, keep in mind that rangeland ecological concerns also vary by region.
Prairie Project - an educational tool related to the prairie ecosystem with a variety of lesson plans including sections on animals, energy, fire, grazing, and plants. These tools are separated into grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Developed by Oklahoma State University Extension and Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management.
Rangelands Curriculum for Texas - a comprehensive curriculum with 27 lessons that include field and classroom activities, games, and community resources. Developed for grades K-6. Developed by the Welder Wildlife Foundation.
Idaho Rangeland Lessons and Activities - a virtual grab bag of lessons and activities that include rangeland plants, animals, and ecoregions. These materials for grades K-12. Developed by the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission.
BLM Teaching Resources - a variety of lessons that cover topics related to public lands management, including energy, native plants, recreation, wildfire, and weeds. Materials are for ages K-12. Developed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Simply getting teaching resources into the hands of professional K-12 educators does not always lead to classroom implementation. We experience that teachers are much more comfortable teaching about rangeland science concepts when they have received training. Some universities offer summer continuing education opportunities and workshops focused on rangeland topics. If you are a teacher, you should check with your local university members of the Range Science Education Council, state and national teacher associations, state Rangeland Extension Specialists, or state agricultural program leaders.