Teacher Kits

Bring the natural world back to your classroom with the Nature to You Loan Program Teacher Kits. Each kit includes lesson plans, books, materials and museum specimens to engage and inspire your students. All lesson plans are aligned with California State and NGSS Standards.

All Teacher Kits are available to Nature to You Loan Program annual members for two-week loan for $25. Contact us to learn more: loanprogram@sdnhm.org or 619.255.0236.

A special thank you to our partners at Climate Science Alliance and their Climate Kids Traveling Trunks.

Native Land, Native People (Grades 3-4)

The Kumeyaay People shared a relationship with nature, native plants, and the animals around them. These were their primary resources for survival. This kit allows students to explore the lives of the first people to inhabit San Diego County. Students can explore the Kumeyaay ways of life by grinding acorns, scraping yucca leaves for fiber, and discovering how plants and animals provided food, clothing, and shelter. Step back into history and connect with nature and the native peoples of our region. 

Watershed Model (3-12)

Where does water go when it rains? Students will learn what a watershed is and why it is important. This hands-on model encourages students to “make it rain,” allowing for a better understanding of human impact on water quality. Students will also discover the areas that feed into our watersheds, thus providing a greater connection to their water source.

Carnivores (K-12)

Through science, art, and storytelling activities, students will gain a deeper understanding of carnivores and their importance in our region. Investigate how a changing climate and increased human activity will affect these animals and their connections to the circle of life. This Climate Kids Traveling Trunk was developed in partnership with the Climate Science Alliance.

Oceans (K-12)

Study the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems. Through ocean acidification and warming, students will learn the current climate science. Though art, storytelling, and hands-on science activities, students will gain a better understanding of the impact on our oceans. This Climate Kids Traveling Trunk was developed in partnership with the Climate Science Alliance.

Pollinators (K-12)

Invite students to explore pollinators and the important role they play in our lives. How will a changing climate plus increased human activity affect them and our food production? Find the answer to these questions with hands-on science activities, art, and storytelling. This Climate Kids Traveling Trunk was developed in partnership with the Climate Science Alliance.

Rock On (2nd Grade)

Discover the splendor and science that exists right under your feet! San Diego is one of the most famous gem-producing regions in the world, but where do these minerals come from? How do they form? Why are rocks and minerals important in our lives? This kit will help students answer these questions and more as we explore the dynamic forces of our continually changing earth. 

Rockin with Fossils (4th Grade)

Students will have the chance to see what is like to be a geologist, paleontologist, and an engineer. They will learn about the mysteries and wonders of the earth through rock, mineral, and fossil investigations. Hands-on activities and themed books will build an understanding of the various causes for earth’s changes. Students will construct a building and test their engineering skills to create an earthquake-proof structure. Our earth is an amazing place, from fossils to human ingenuity. Let’s jump in and get rockin’. 

Survival of the Species (1st Grade)

What do living things need to survive? Just like humans, animal parents must care for, feed, and protect their young. Through storytelling and hands-on activities, students will discover how plants and animals are suited to exist in their surroundings. This kit includes specimens to help students identify special structures and functions of a particular plant or animal. Students will create a solution to an everyday problem by finding inspiration from nature.  

Life Cycles and Traits (3rd Grade)

Life on earth is incredibly diverse. Evolution has resulted in a vast number of adaptations for survival. This kit helps students develop an understanding of both the similarities and differences of an organism’s life cycle. Students will also explore how organisms’ traits can be inherited or influenced by the environment. These lessons include hands-on activities, specimens, and supporting literature. Students will investigate 12 different life cycles, including a chicken, salmon, praying mantis, and bean plant, and try their hand at a life cycle board game. 

Matter, Energy, and Ecosystems (5th Grade)

What are we made of? How do plants and animals get the energy needed to grow and thrive? Students will explore these answers as well as the movement of matter and energy through ecosystems. Through lab experiments and games, students will gain an understanding of the flow and cycles involved in the building blocks of life. 

Food Systems (K-12)

Help students gain a better understanding of how climate change affects our food system, agricultural practices, and the role they play at the intersection where they connect with climate. The hands-on science activities, storytelling, and art materials in this trunk specifically target K-12 grade students based on Next Generation Science Standards. This Climate Kids Traveling Trunk was developed in partnership with the Climate Science Alliance.

Atmospheric Chemistry (K-12)

Bring to life aerosols—one of the most poorly understood components of Earth’s atmosphere—and their impact on our lives and the changing climate. Through science, art, and storytelling activities, students will gain an understanding of the current science behind atmospheric chemistry and the impact of aerosols on climate and public health. See how scientists are working to understand the issues we face at the intersection of these topics. This Climate Kids Traveling Trunk was developed in partnership with the Climate Science Alliance.

Weather and Climate (K-3)

Weather is sunshine, rain, wind, and storms. It’s what is going on outside right now. Using this kit, students will observe, track, and predict the weather. Each day we choose what to wear depending on the weather, but knowing more can help us protect life and property as well. These materials also take a look at climate and how it differs from the weather. Finally, students will take the first steps toward understanding climate change and what it means for our future.