Teachers’ Lounge

Archive for September, 2011

New lessons available!

by rochelle on Sep. 29th, 2011 No Comments

In the recent months we have put a number of great new lessons up on our lessons database. Check some of these out!

Ocean Acidification Mock Conference
7th – 12th Grade

Ocean Acidification Diagram Recently, scientists have discovered that the chemistry of the ocean is changing. Because of higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) being released into the atmosphere, oceans are absorbing more CO2, which lowers the pH of seawater in the process called ocean acidification. Not only does acidification make it more difficult for marine animals to make their shells, but it also can lead to the weakening or destruction of already formed shells.

Through this lesson, students will learn what organisms are affected by ocean acidification by taking on the role of one of the stakeholders affected by ocean acidification and creating poster(s) to address their issue(s). They will then participate in a mock conference to address the affects of ocean acidification and discuss solutions to reduce ocean acidification. View Lesson Plan »

Rainforest Necklace Scavenger Hunt
3rd – 6th Grade

RainforestBecause pens and pencils are discouraged in the rainforest exhibit, we have developed a new pencil-less rainforest scavenger hunt. Through this hunt, students will learn that plants and animals depend on one another for survival and reproduction, such as through pollination and seed dispersal. Students will also learn that a rainforest has distinct layers, with life specially adapted to each layer. View Lesson Plan »

What Kind of Geologist Am I?
2nd – 5th Grade

Geologist at workGeologists are scientists who study the physical aspects of the earth. They study the forces that shape the earth’s landscape, including earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, landslides, tectonic forces, glaciers, and water erosion. They also locate and study mineral resources, oil, natural gas and water. In this lesson, students will be introduced to the varied roles a geologist might play. By sharing brief first person narratives, students will learn about six of the many branches of geology and become familiar with tools used by geologists to study and collect the Earth’s resources. View Lesson Plan »

Southwest Native Pottery and Silver Scavenger Hunt
4th – 8th Grade

Pottery Owl FigureIn this scavenger hunt through the Evolving Traditions exhibit, which highlights Native American pottery and silver jewelry created by members of the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni tribes and by the Rio Grande Pueblos, students will describe artistic elements of jewelry and pottery, compare jewelry and pottery of different tribes and of different time periods and create an image of a piece of jewelry based on the observed pieces. View Lesson Plan »

Celebrate Sharktober!

by rochelle on Sep. 28th, 2011 No Comments

October is shark month at the Naturalist Center!

Explore our special theme-of-the-month area! Have an up-close and personal experience with shark specimens (till Oct.24)Tiger Shark

  • Specimen Spotlight: Join us for a short “Sharktastic!” presentation in front of the Project Lab, Friday October 14 and 21 at 11:30 am.
  • Science Story Adventures: Come explore the world of sharks through stories, specimens and a craft, Sunday October 9 and 23 at 2:30 pm. For ages 4-8. 3rd floor classroom
  • Enjoy our shark-themed puzzles and pelagic thresher shark coloring sheet.
  • Play Shark Tooth Buffet and decide which tooth works best for capturing prey

Other Naturalist Center events this coming month:

  • In celebration of African Penguin Awareness Day, on October 7, penguins will be the theme of the Specimen Spotlight. You can also come in to make an African penguin craft!
  • October 28-30 is Halloween Weekend! There will be special creepy crawly scavenger hunts available, bat coloring sheets and a special Halloween Specimen Spotlight on Friday, October 28 in the Project Lab.

Headlands Institute Workshops!

by megan on Sep. 20th, 2011 No Comments

Headlands Institute Logo

Our friends over at the Headlands Institute are offering teacher professional development programs!


Headlands Institute Professional DevelopmentBring the Outside In
September 24, 2011

Learn simple strategies for building community, using nature in lessons, and getting your students outdoors. Open to any educator, traditional and non-traditional. Content is focused on grades 4th-8th.
Location: Chinese American International School

Headlands Institute Professional Development teachers talking
Two Part Climate Change Series
(participants must commit to both sessions)
Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 and Nov 12, 2011


Delve into the scientific concepts and background information you should know before you begin teaching climate science to students. Learn new activities for teaching basic climate science and empowering your students to take action. Open to classroom teachers only. Content is focused on grades 6th-8th.
Location: SFUSD Offices

Each session is free and includes lunch and a take-away teaching toolkit with ready-to-use materials for the classroom.

A $100 stipend is available for teachers who attend 2 or more workshops with another teacher or teachers from their schools.

Help count birds in the Presidio

by rochelle on Sep. 19th, 2011 No Comments

Kids’ Autumn Equinox Bird Count in the Presidio
Presidio Kids Heron

Saturday, September 24th
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Meet at Baker Beach picnic area

Did you know that the Presidio is a birding hotspot in the Bay Area? After a short “binocular bootcamp and birding basics” kids and their families will join experienced birders in teams on different routes throughout the Presidio. After an easy 2 hour walk counting observed bird life, groups will return to Baker Beach to tally their numbers during lunch. The day will be topped off with presentations of the day’s numbers by kids!

Presidio Kids observing birds
Lunch will not be provided, so bring a lunch and snacks as needed. Please remember to dress in layers and bring water. Binoculars are not required, but recommended if you have them (a supply of binoculars will be available to borrow for the day).

Because space is limited for this event, please RSVP to Damien Raffa at: draffa@presidiotrust.gov or 415- 561-4449. This event is free and co-sponsored by the Presidio Trust and the Golden Gate Audubon Society.