Teaching Materials

A collection of k-12 curricula, activity guides, and other resources to support hands-on, inquiry-based investigations of the ecosystems and organisms around us. Created by our Education Department in collaboration with Cary scientists.

Changing Hudson Project

The Changing Hudson Project (CHP) curriculum was developed by scientists and educators at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies to help students understand how the Hudson River changes over time. By collaborating with area teachers, scientists, and management agencies, the curriculum has grown to include a wide range of topics that engage students with visualizations, readings, investigations, and actual scientific data.

Grades 9-12
Topics:  Water, Nature of Science

Urban Ecosystems

When people think of ecology, they usually imagine studies out in the country. The next thing they think of is studies involving the relationship of plants and animals to one another. They also imagine studies that show how organisms relate to the physical environment -- air, water, and soil. People and cities usually don't come to mind when ecology is mentioned.

Grades 3-5
Topics: Nature of Science, Carbon

Grades 6-8
Topics:  Water, Biodiversity, Carbon

Grades 9-12
Topics:  Water, Biodiversity

Eco-Inquiry

Eco-Inquiry helps teachers transform their classrooms into centers of ecological research. Students learn about the flow of matter in ecosystems as the practices of science are demystified and made engaging. Lessons from this book have been scanned and are available as PDFs through our curriculum database.

Grades 3-5
Topics:  Nutrients & Energy

Grades 6-8
Topics:  Nutrients & Energy

Grades 9-12
Topics: Nutrients & Energy, Biodiversity

SYEFEST

Schoolyards present a wealth of opportunities for exploring ecological concepts, and the Cary Institute has long been a pioneer in helping teachers develop authentic and worthwhile investigations for students. The Schoolyard Ecology for Elementary School Teachers (SYEFEST) project created a number protocols and lessons, most of them inquiry-based, for outdoor study.

Topics: Biodiversity, Nutrients & Energy, Water, Nature of Science

Ecology of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an ecologically complex disease that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the Northeast. Through an interactive online module and hands-on investigations developed through the Hotpots Project, students learn about the ecology of Northeast forests and how land use change creates favorable conditions for the increase of Lyme disease.

Grades 6-8
Topics:  Biodiversity

Grades 9-12
Topics: Biodiversity

Teaching the Local Water Cycle

Teaching about the water cycle can be made more realistic and valuable for students by incorporating what they know about water-where it comes from, what happens to it after they use it, and what problems are associated with its use. These materials, part of a unit called "The Broken Water Cycle", will help teachers facilitate place-based learning about water for upper elementary and middle school students.

Grades K-2
Topics:  Water

Grades 3-5
Topics:  Water

Grades 6-8
Topics:  Water

Grades 9-12
Topics:  Water

Grades 9-12
Topics:  Water, Carbon Biodiversity

Grades 6-8
Topics:  Water, Biodiversity

Grades 9-12
Topics: Water, Biodiversity

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