A student from historic Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama, shows off her dirty gloves from working on a "conservation lab." A "conservation lab" is vacant land converted into productive land for pollinators, birds, biodiversity, stormwater treatment demo areas, and generational care for the environment. These labs are low maintenance and a low-impact design.
Conservation Lab A student from historic Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama, shows off her dirty gloves from working on a "conservation lab." A "conservation lab" is vacant land converted into productive land for pollinators, birds, biodiversity, stormwater treatment demo areas, and generational care for the environment. These labs are low maintenance and a low-impact design. © Devan King

Nature Lab

Youth Education Resources for Grades 6-8

Interactive nature-based lesson plans for middle school age students. 

All Resources for Grades 6-8

Download our educational resources for students in grades 6 through 8. Lessons include biological interactions, terminology, the impact of reforestation and urban trees on human health, and more. Each lesson plan comes with a free teacher's guide and video.

Bee
Bee Bumblebee (Bombus sp.) on purple coneflower (Echinacea sp.) © Chris Helzer/TNC

Bee Detective: Declining Bee Populations

Honeybees benefit humans in many ways: They are important pollinators of food crops and producers of honey and beeswax. Learn about the features of a honeybee colony and the potential causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD). 

Watch Video | Download Teacher Guide

Underwater view of coral reef
Underwater view of coral reef in Florida. © Rachel Hancock Davis

The Need Is Mutual: Biological Interactions

Organisms have a variety of relationships. In this lesson, students learn to categorize relationships according to their impact on organisms and the terminology for these biological interactions, for example, symbiosis.

Watch Video  |   Download Teacher Guide

Longleaf Pine Forest
Longleaf Pine Forest at Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve. © Ralph Pace

Reforestation: Impact on Climate

Students explore how reforestation can help decrease carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, thereby minimizing climate change and improving air quality.

Watch Video |  Download Teacher Guide

In Louisville, Kentucky,
In Louisville, Kentucky, TNC and the University of Louisville’s Envirome Institute began planting trees and shrubs across the city to test how the trees can filter pollution. © Randy Olson

Urban Trees

In this lesson, students learn how trees renew our air supply by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, and how they clean our air by filtering out dust and greenhouse gases. 

Watch Video |  Download Teacher Guide

Ponderosa Forest
Ponderosa Forest A forest that has been thinned and treated with prescribed fire comes back green and better able to withstand wildfire. © John Marshall

Seeing the Wood for Trees: Sustainable Forestry

In this lesson, students interact with Google Earth to identify forests that have been logged selectively versus those that have not. They also learn how to distinguish the appearance of forestry methods in satellite images.

Watch Video |  Download Teacher Guide

Cosumnes River
Cosumnes River View of riparian habitat along the Cosumnes River north of Rancho Murrietta, CA. © Jeff Hart

How Natural Areas Filter Water

Nature works to filter water and to release water over time, thereby reducing the amount of artificial treatment needed to filter water and helping to prevent flooding. In this lesson, students learn about the importance of water quality for human health and agriculture. 

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Managed Ponderosa Pine Forest
Managed Ponderosa Pine Forest Controlled burns and thinning keep fire burning low through the understory. Maintaining gaps between some trees helps prevent future large crown fires. © Erica Simek Sloniker/TNC

Fighting Fire with Fire

Wildfires occur naturally when lightning strikes a forest or grassland. Alternatively, controlled burns, also known as prescribed fires, are set by land managers and conservationists to mimic the effects of natural fires. In this lesson, students explore controlled burn scenarios and the positive impacts of fire on ecosystems. 

Watch Video | Download Teacher Guide | Download PPT

Alderspring Ranch
Alderspring Ranch A herd of cattle on the Alderspring Ranch. Glenn and Caryl Elzinga operate it as a privately owned cattle ranch that protects and conserves the river's habitat. © © Bridget Besaw

Population Management

The needs of cattle herds overlap the needs of wildlife in communities, such as Kenya. In this lesson, students learn how balancing cattle herd size, grazing rights and wildlife populations is beneficial. 

Watch Video | Download Teacher Guide

Explore Our Youth Curriculum

Access resources aligned to The Nature Conservancy's research and designed specifically for a young audience and classroom use.