Nature


This collection of science videos and media-enhanced lesson plans draws upon the powerful documentaries of public television’s award-winning natural history series, Nature. The video segments have been carefully selected to engage students with key curriculum concepts. The lesson plans incorporate hands-on activities, online resources, and video to interactively and creatively address topics and standards in Life Science/Living Environment and Earth Science.

See below in the "Explore Collection" section for the latest resources from Season 36 of NATURE. 

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    A Surprising Solution to Baboon Farm Raiding

    Learn about the challenges South African farmers face trying to protect their crops from baboons in this set of videos from the NATURE mini-series Animals with Cameras. The baboon cameras reveal a surprising explanation to a halt in the baboon raids that farmers may be able to use to permanently stop the raids. In the accompanying classroom activity, students use the engineering design process to protect a simulated farm from crop raiding.

    Additonal support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more resources from NATURE, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
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    Seal Group Behavior: Mother and Pup Nutrition

    Until recently, the 80% of their lives fur seals spend at sea searching for food was a mystery; discover their lives underwater in this set of videos from the NATURE mini-series Animals with Cameras. In the accompanying classroom activity, students analyze data about how those foraging trips affect the quality of the milk seals produce for their pups.

    Additional support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more resources from NATURE, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
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    Information Processing: A Chimpanzee Identifies Threats

    An orphaned chimp learns to recognize danger in this video from the NATURE mini-series Animals with Cameras. In preparation for integrating orphaned Kimbang with a group of chimpanzees, her caretaker tests Kimbang’s response to a simulated danger, a plastic snake. In the accompanying classroom activity, students use the engineering design process to design a grabber to protect their hands, mimicking Kimbang’s use of a bush to protect herself from the snake.

    Additonal support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more resources from NATURE, check out the collection page.

    Grades: K-3
  • Energy Flow in Food Webs: How Penguins Select Prey

    Students analyze data about penguin diving trips to capture prey in this media-rich lesson plan from WNET. Discover why penguin parents ignore other prey in their search for anchovies in this lesson plan from the NATURE mini-series Animals with Cameras. By the end of the lesson, students will have a basic understanding of how energy dynamics influence penguin hunting trips and the importance of prey options for penguin conservation.

    For more resources from NATURE, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-13+
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    Matter and Energy in Penguins’ Aquatic Ecosystem

    Discover why penguin parents ignore other prey in their search for anchovies in this video from the NATURE mini-series Animals with Cameras. This video explains how energy rich anchovies can make the difference in penguin chicks surviving to adulthood. For an in depth exploration of data from the penguins’ hunting trips see the lesson plan Energy Flow in Food Webs: How Penguins Select Prey.

    Support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more resources from NATURE, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
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    Investigating Meerkat Group Behavior with Wave-Based Technologies

    Radar and infrared cameras reveal the inside of a meerkat den for the first time in this video from the NATURE mini-series Animals with Cameras. The footage reveals a whole new group dynamic; in the privacy of the den the meerkat leader lets her guard down and stops keeping lower-ranking females at arm’s reach.

    Support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more resources from NATURE, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Climate Change Contributes to Competition Between Red and Arctic Foxes

    In this video from NATURE: “Fox Tales," learn how climate change opened the Arctic to red foxes, leading to clashes with Arctic foxes.

    Additional support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more resources from NATURE, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Urban Foxes: Exploring New Ecosystems

    Discover how red foxes are successfully moving in to urban environments in this video from NATURE: “Fox Tales.”

    Additional support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more resources from NATURE, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Fox Group Behavior: Learning to Forage and Hunt

    Learn how adult foxes provide for their cubs and how the cubs transition to fending for themselves as adults in this video from NATURE: “Fox Tales.” Surprisingly, the male fox plays a major role in caring for the young cubs. In the accompanying classroom activity, students analyze data about the changes in the cubs’ diet as they mature.

    Additional support materials are available, including discussion questions, teaching tips, and a handout. For more resources from NATURE, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Human and Animal Relationships

    In this video from NATURE: "Naledi: One Little Elephant," a baby elephant named Naledi is taken into the care of animal scientists following her mother’s death. In the accompanying activity, students explore how humans are able to help, care for and nurse animals back to health using human-made feeders. Using this knowledge, students design animal feeders out of various materials for an animal of their choosing.  

    Additional support materials are available, including discussion questions, vocabulary, teaching tips and a handout. For more from NATURE, check out the collection page.

     

    Grades: K-2
  • CSI Wildlife

    CSI Wildlife engages students by combining elephants, species conservation, and forensics to teach key biological concepts and science practices. This HHMI BioInteractive expands on the coverage of elephant conservation in NATURE: "Naledi: One Little Elephant." Explore actual cases (adapted to be approachable by students) in which scientists use DNA profiling to investigate the elephant poaching that supplies the ivory trade. In the process, students should reflect on how these techniques enable better protection for elephants.

    For more from NATURE, check out the collection page or the NATURE Naledi page.

    Grades: 6-12
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    Climate Change is Disrupting Arctic Food Webs

    Learn how climate change is shifting the delicate balance of Arctic food webs in this video from NATURE: “Arctic Wolf Pack.” Warmer temperatures are leading to rainfall in the winter, which creates a crust of ice over the snow covered ground. Arctic herbivores can’t break through the icy crust to the food below, unlike the regular snow cover which they can dig through.

    Support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more resources from NATURE, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Survey Methods

    In this interactive, students explore the methods scientists use to survey elephants and learn about the current state of the elephant population in Africa. This HHMI BioInteractive expands on the coverage of the Great Elephant Census in NATURE: "Naledi: One Little Elephant." The story of African elephants is a powerful case study of how science can inform conservation. It is important to track how many elephants are left and where they live to help protect them.

    For more from NATURE, check out the collection page or the NATURE Naledi page.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Animal Traits and Functions

    In this video from NATURE: "Naledi: One Little Elephant," a baby elephant named Naledi is rejoining her elephant herd after being away from them for four months. In this clip, students will observe how elephants use their trunks to identify family members as well as communicate with each other. In the accompanying activity, Smell like an Elephant! students will explore how animals use their bodies to smell and communicate. Students will use their own bodies, like animals, to smell and identify different scents. Following the activity, they will conduct a writing response focused on the sense of smell.

    Additional support materials are available, including discussion questions, vocabulary, teaching tips, and a handout. For more from NATURE, check out the collection page.

    Grades: PreK-1

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