Offsite Educational Resources
Connect your students to museum content and research right in your classroom, at your school site, or in your own backyard! Want to join a Community Science project with your class or plant a monarch waystation in your garden? We’ve compiled our most loved and frequently requested activities, lesson plans, “how to’s,” and educator resources designed to be used offsite below.
Community Science Projects
iNaturalist is an online social network of naturalists, community scientists, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. Learn more about how to use iNaturalist:
- iNaturalist 101
- iNaturalist Educator Guide
- Create an iNaturalist Account
- Join an iNaturalist Project
- Take Good Photos for iNaturalist
- Create a Community Science Field Site
Build a NightWatch Kit: Insect Biodiversity Project
Large numbers of invertebrates, including arthropods, molluscs, and insects, have been discovered at the Tar Pits! You can discover the biodiversity of invertebrates found in your schoolyard or neighborhood by building a NightWatch Kit, originally designed for NHM's BioSCAN insect survey project.
Find Some RASCals (Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern California)
Lizards, snakes, and frogs have all been found in the asphalt at Rancho La Brea. To help us figure out where our modern local reptiles and amphibians live, join the RASCals project!
Search for SLIME (Slugs Living in Metropolitan Environments)
Our Malacology Department needs your observations of snails and slugs! Add photos of terrestrial gastropods around your neighborhood to our SLIME iNaturalist project.
Survey for Southern California Squirrels
Help the Natural History Museum track the changes in squirrel distribution in our region. Use this lesson plan to guide student learning and this field guide to help identify squirrels you find.
Tar Pits Research & Collections
Bring the museum collections and process of paleontology to you with these resource lists, materials, and activities:
"It Came From the Tar Pits!" Graphic Novel
La Brea Tar Pits: A Case Study of Extinction | California Education and the Environment Initiative
Skype a Scientist: Connect with researchers and scientists from all over the world for virtual Q&As
using the outdoor classroom
Nature Observations & Journaling
These activities and lesson plans encourage exploration of the outdoors with structured prompts, discussions, and field journals:
- Using the Outdoor Classroom: Tips for Nature Observation
- Nature Journaling Activity & Nature Journal Handout
- Create a Nature Memory Map
- How to Take a Nature Walk
- Birding for Beginners Resource List
- Grades 2 - 12 | Sounds of Nature: Bird Calls Lesson Plan
- Build a Bee Hotel
- Urban Wildlife & Scientific Illustration Resource List
- Carnivore Data Resource List for Your Classroom
- Grades 6 - 12 | L.A.'s Urban Carnivores: Mountain Lion
- Set Up a Track Station
Looking for resources to start your own garden? See below for suggested gardening materials and related lesson plans:
- Plant a School Garden with California Native Plants
- Plant a Monarch Waystation
- Grades K - 12 | Meeting New Neighbors: How to Study Your Butterfly Waystation Lesson Plan
Looking to take a piece of La Brea Tar Pits back to the classroom? Our Museum Store carries a wide variety of resources appropriate for all grade levels and teachers receive 10% off in the Museum Store with their teacher sticker! Pick up a book (or two!) during your next visit. Browse our suggested reading list.
VIRTUAL TAR PITS FIELD TRIP
Step inside our current excavation site right from your classroom in this virtual field trip presented by NOVA. You'll hear all about our latest research from La Brea excavators and educators, and learn the inside story of Project 23 in this 30-minute webcast.
Think social distancing with dinosaurs and mammoths and connecting with nature and community science right outside your own door. The museums want to know: What Blows Your Mind? Connect with inspiring educators, scientists, and each other for virtual adventures. Access rich school curriculum and activities to do with your family at home. Participate in exciting crowd-sourced science and social media campaigns.
Explore natural and cultural wonders from home on NHMLAC Connects!