Curriculum Materials

For more information, pre and post site activities click on the links for each program.

Curriculum based programs for grades 1-12 will extend your lessons into our outdoor classroom. Appropriate grade levels are noted in front of program titles.

Environmental Education

  • 1-2 Sensory Stroll (1 hr) Observe nature in a whole new way! Discover how animals use their senses to survive.

  • 1-3 Meet A Tree (1 hr) Meet a new friend.., a tree! Learn how trees are similar to people and find out why they are so important.

  • 1-3 Flower Power (1 hr) Spring Only. Learn about pollination and the important role butterflies and bees play in making new flowers.

  • 1-3 Magical Seeds (1 hr) Fall Only. Discover the uniqueness of plants and their life cycle. Watch how a mighty plant grows from a tiny seed!

  • 2-3 Habitat Hunt (1 hr) Explore a section of Rock Creek Park's 1750 acres of habitat and find out why it is so important to the animals of Washington DC

  • 2-4 Adaptations (1 hr) Win, loose, or adapt! Discover how animals must adapt to thrive in their environment.

  • 4-6 Aquatic Ecology (1 1/2 hrs) Journey through the water cycle and learn the importance of conserving and protecting our water resources.

  • 4-6 Layers of the Forest (1 1/2 hrs) Explore the forest community from the ground up. Learn why forests take years to build and only a moment to destroy.

  • 4-6 Protecting our Park (2 hrs) Help a Park Ranger protect Rock Creek Park by completing a service learning project such as a watershed cleanup or an invasive plant removal.

  • 7-12 Forest Ecosystems (2 hrs) Apply chemistry and mathematics as a tool to learn more about the health of Rock Creek Park's forest. Also participate in a service learning project by helping to remove exotic invasive plants. These additional programs can be tailored to all ages and/or grade levels.

  • 7-12 Water Quality (2 hrs) Investigate the quality of water in Rock Creek using a combination of bioassessment and chemical tests. Also participate in a service learning project by helping to cleanup the river.

Planetarium Programs

Pre-K The Sky Above Us (30 mm) This program will introduce young learners to tonight's night sky by enabling them to observe the movements of the sun, moon, and stars. Stories about the constellations will peak their imagination and their desire to learn more.

1-3 Wonders of the Night Sky (45 mm) Journey from the city to the countryside without ever leaving your seat. Students will learn about stars, identify some constellations and hear their stories.

4-6 Our Universe (1 hr) The conceptual science of astronomy is made tangible through the combination of active demonstrations and a planetarium program focusing on our universe. If you would like to schedule a planetarium program for older students, please call the Nature Center and we will tailor a program specifically for your group.

4-6 Searching the Solar System (1 hr) Does life exist outside our planet? Find out if it's possible to live on neighboring planets.


Astronomy classroom activities:
The following classroom activities are available for download for use in the class room

Planetary Distances (PDF)
Simple Astronomy Activities (PDF)
Making a Sun Clock (PDF)
The Sun Heats Up (PDF)
Stars and Constellations Word Find (PDF)

Astronomy Crossword Puzzle (PDF)
Crossword Clues (PDF)
Crossword Solution (PDF)

Constellation Connect the Dots:
Canis Major (PDF)
Centaur (PDF)
Leo (PDF)
Orion (PDF)
Scorpio (PDF)

Did You Know?